Inter-ministerial committee welcomes religious leaders as essential services | Western Cape Government


Inter-ministerial committee welcomes religious leaders as essential services

1 June 2020

The Western Cape Religious Inter-Ministerial Committee met on Thursday, 28 May 2020, to discuss the announcements made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday, 24 May 2020 and the subsequent address to the nation on Tuesday, 24 May 2020.

Following the provincial Religious Inter-Ministerial Committee meeting, chaired by Minister Ivan Meyer and attended by Minister Anroux Marais, Minister Sharna Fernandez and Advisor to the Premier: Mr. Donald Grant, the Committee:

  • Welcomes religious leaders recognized as essential religious frontline workers for the purposes of spiritual counselling to members of their faith organisations at alert level 3.
  • Supports the National Day of prayer scheduled for Sunday, 31 May 2020, and
  • Encourages Faith Based Organisations to use their own discretion on reopening their respective places of worship as each observe different practices with varied requirements, while adhering to the 5 golden rules of hygiene and the safety protocols detailed in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ (COGTA) Directions gazetted late last night.

On the phased reopening of places of worship, the COGTA’s Directions include:

  • Religious gatherings cannot exceed more than 50 persons
  • Religious organisations should where possible, convene services through virtual platforms
  • All religious services may not exceed 2 hours with a 30 minutes intermission between services
  • All religious leaders or persons in charge of places of worship must:
  1. Screen every person before entering their place of worship
  2. Ensure every person entering the place of worship wears a facemask
  3. Adhere to social distancing conventions in which there is no physical contact between persons at the place of worship with a minimum of 1.5m between attendees
  4. Limit singing of hymns to solo or pre-recorded performances.

Leading the Religious Inter-Ministerial Committee, Minister Ivan Meyer said, “Following Minister Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma’s announcement on the regulations, we will seek legal advice in consultation with our Faith Based Organisations network as they offer us unique insights into their respective spiritual needs, essentially guiding us as the Western Cape Government to make more informed decisions which are most practical at ground-level.  We appreciate the commitment and level of engagement that we share with them as well as the significant contribution they provide in helping us find solutions where necessary.”

We acknowledge the exceptional work done by our religious leaders during the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown period and hope to continue our engagement with them as we combat this pandemic together.

For further information on Covid-19 please visit: or make use of our Provincial Hotline on 021 928-4201.

If you require any form of psycho-social support, please contact us on our hotline number on 0800 220 250.

Media Enquiries: 

Stacy McLean

Spokesperson to the Faith Based Secretariat  

083 504 1171