May Easter be a time of hope and renewal

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
14 Apr 2022 in News

On behalf of the Democratic Alliance I would like to wish all South Africans who observe the Christian faith a blessed and safe Easter. May this sacred holiday’s message of unconditional love and sacrifice bring you great comfort and strength.

As we celebrate Easter, let us also keep those affected by the devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal in our prayers this weekend. Our deepest condolences go out to the families of those who lost their lives, and we pray that the people of KZN may find strength and courage to rebuild their lives and their homes in the wake of this tragedy.

After the disruption of the pandemic, it is wonderful that many South Africans will be able to celebrate Easter this year with the people they love, and without many of the restrictions that had made life so hard these past couple of years.

I know that many people will be traveling long distances for the first time in two years to visit family or friends, or to attend special church services. If you’re going to be on the road this weekend, I ask that you please take extra care and that you don’t put yourself or others in danger.

Be patient, be vigilant and stay safe, and urge all your friends and family to do the same. Let us all come back safely next week, even if our journeys take a little longer. Everyone sharing the road with you also just wants to get home safely and embrace their children, parents and loved ones.

I also hope you find some quiet time over the weekend to reflect on the message of Easter, and what this could mean in our world today. Easter is not only the story of God’s sacrifice, it is also a story of hope and renewal.

Right now, on a different continent, a brutal and unjust war continues to terrorise innocent people, with thousands killed and millions already displaced. I ask that you hold the people of Ukraine in your prayers, so that they may soon experience their own hope and renewal, free from tyranny and violence.

Closer to home, millions of our own citizens are facing a bleak and uncertain winter as unemployment, crippling poverty and hunger affect half our population. And once the ripples from Ukraine hit our own economy, this situation will likely get worse before it improves.

We desperately need our own hope and renewal, and this doesn’t have to come from government or a political party. There is much that each of us can do in our own lives to start turning the tide in our own country.

Let us begin with tolerance and empathy. Don’t allow others to turn what might be rightful fears and frustrations into resentment and hate. Don’t allow yourself to become a tool of violence in the populist, xenophobic campaigns of others.

I know we have problems in our society and that life is extremely hard for many, but none of these problems will be solved by making foreigners the scapegoats.

We dare not lose our humanity.

Our hope and our renewal won’t be achieved by blaming and hurting others. It will only be achieved by standing together, respecting one another, and then building the South Africa we all want to live in.

That goal is well within our reach.

May God bless you all and keep you safe.