Little Sisters of Jesus in South Africa, Our communities

Greetings from our three communities!


We are a very young democracy: only 15 years old, but the problems we face are enormous.

To give you a picture, I will quote from a NGO from Pietermaritzburg which has fought against apartheid and now is still fighting against injustice and poverty:

'If we look at the poverty around us, it is fuelled by policies that make us the most economically unequal society in the world. We may feel more than daunted, but our God has brought us safely through the wilderness of apartheid. Now, in the promised land of democracy, we face the daunting giants of poverty and of creating and sustaining a just and equitable society... Poverty and inequality have been named as the "New apartheid" because, while for a number of years there was the hope that the new government would lead the country in a direction that would reduce poverty and the many inequalities that form the legacy of apartheid, poverty so restricts people's choices for their lives that one cannot really say that they are free at all.'

Of course, if we compare our country with other countries on our continent or elsewhere, we can say that we are better off and in a sense we are: we have old age pension, child benefit, hospital is very cheap etc. but there are shocking inequalities between rich and poor, and the gap is getting bigger. Some people are still living in very poor conditions, yet the country is rich enough to accommodate everybody.

There are many immigrant workersThere are many immigrant workers

Another problem is the "foreigners" who are really the poorest and often are not accepted by our people.

Since the economic crisis the country has lost one million jobs and drugs and alcohol consumption are on the increase especially among young people.

But despite everything there exists a strengh of life. People have become inventive in how to make a living: Many open a house-shop or a hair saloon, or sell fruit and vegetables in town.

Our call is to be people of hope, to live and share with others who want to build something new and together.