By :
South Africa, 2007
52 min
Violence + corruption + HIV = an equation of misery fiercely fought by the Catholic Church, through field action and lobbying.
Thirteen years after the end of Apartheid, South Africa, a major destination for tourists and the hostof the next Soccer World Cup, is faced with a number of challenges. The Aids epidemic not onlyafflicts one in three South Africans, but has also contributed to the rise of deadly infectious diseasessuch as Tuberculosis, Typhus and Cholera.

Close to 20 million people live at the threshold of poverty,most of whom are housed in tin shanties with no electricity nor running water and totally unaccepta-ble hygienic conditions. Crime is on a continuous steady rise with 18,000 people assassinated everyyear making South Africa the world’s second most dangerous country, just after Iraq. And as the mostdeveloped country on the African continent, South Africa is where 6 to 10 million African refugeeshave chosen to seek out their new home.

Faced with these challenges, South African churches and religious leaders are turning to the country’sgoverning political party,The African National Congress. With corruption running rapid and moralityscarce, religious institutions have come to the rescue of the country’s poor and needy. The Catholicchurch, despite its minority position, has a strong hold on the country’s health system and is active atgrassroots level. It no longer hesitates to impose itself upon the government, as well as actively lobbyParliament in order to push changes and restore social justice.