BuaNews, 08 November 2002, Skweyiya to Address Prayer Service in KZN

Thousands of people are on Sunday expected to join social development minister Zola Skweyiya in a prayer service on destigmatising HIV/AIDS.

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Zweli Mkhize is also expected to attend the ceremony, to be held at the Esikhawini College of Education in Empangeni.

Minister Skweyiya will together with Archbishop BE Madlopha of the New Life Church Zion in Southern Africa, address people on the issue of HIV/AIDS and mobilise communities in the fight against the pandemic.

'This is the first big gathering of its kind in the country indeed, as it demonstrates the increasing co-operation between government and the church in fighting societal ills like HIV/AIDS and poverty,' Minister Skweyiya said in a statement.

'It is our hope that this co-operation between the church and the government, the moral regeneration crusade and the endeavour to care for the most vulnerable, especially children affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, will be further strengthened.'

The department's spokesperson Kgathi Sathekge said the prayer meeting formed part of government's concerted efforts to highlight the seriousness of HIV/AIDS in the country and assist communities to cope with the pandemic.

Dr Skweyiya called on all South Africans to join such initiatives and help build a caring society to ensure a better life for all.