Zuma pleads with big business to aid upliftment
President Jacob Zuma on Sunday made an impassioned plea to businessmen to help uplift the lives of the poor, especially in rural areas.
Zuma was speaking during a church handover ceremony at Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal.
Pleading with companies to commit money to the cause, Zuma said corporations should emulate Patrice Matsepe, the executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals.
The church was constructed by African Rainbow Minerals in conjunction with the Jacob Zuma Foundation. It was given to first lady Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma on behalf of the Salvation Army. Members of various congregations gathered in KwaMamba to celebrate.
MaKhumalo approached African Rainbow Minerals, through the foundation, to build the church in the area which, until yesterday, had no place of worship. Services had previously been held in a mud hut.
Said Zuma: "The history is that people living here never had a church.
"This church will not only serve as a place of worship but also as an important assembly point for communities to discuss and identify projects and initiatives to improve their villages and living conditions."
Zuma said churches had a critical role to play in communities, such as building respect, self-discipline and humanity among the young.
He said there was a difference between a person raised in the church and one who was not.
"I grew up in the church and I understand that people need the word of God.
"The church has an important role to play in fighting social ills among our people."
He said his foundation had been asked by many churches for help in constructing churches in rural areas.