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Monday, November 7, 2011


Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has urged South Africans to join world faith leaders, political leaders and music stars at an “extraordinary” mass rally and afternoon concert on November 27 at the King’s Park Stadium in Durban.

The Archbishop is to host the We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice rally and concert, at which he will lead a call to world leaders attending the COP17 climate change talks in Durban that they should reach a fair and legally-binding agreement to curb climate change.

Musicians including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Arno Carstens, rap star HHP and Kenyan Gospel rapper Juliani have confirmed they will perform at the rally, which will be free. The COP17 talks start in Durban the day after the rally.

Faith leaders including Pope Benedict XVI, Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, have also been invited. Those who cannot attend have been asked to send video clips of support.

Environmental campaigners and motivational speakers Lewis Pugh, the “human polar bear”, and Braam Malherbe, a 50/50 presenter, will be among the many who will address the crowd.

“Apartheid seemed an overwhelming challenge that could not be defeated but we mobilised and defeated it. We need the same passion and determination to defeat climate change,” says Tutu. “Climate change is an even greater threat to us than apartheid was, because as temperatures rise, millions of Africans will be deprived of water and crops. This will cause enormous suffering. It is something we simply cannot allow.

“In the face of such a huge threat,” he continues, “many of us feel numb and throw up our hands, believing we can’t make a difference. But we can make a difference – come to the rally. It will be an extraordinary event. And if you cannot come, please sign our petition on We want to have over one million signatures on these petitions at the rally to hand over the world leaders.”

Learners from dozens of schools throughout KwaZulu-Natal will also participate in the rally, presenting environmental-themed posters and messages to the leaders and performing song-and-dance numbers.

South African finance minister Pravin Gordhan, Archbishop Tutu, UKZN university chancellor and activist Ela Gandhi, satirist Pieter–Dirk Uys, Free State University’s Prof Jonathan Jansen and author John van de Ruit are the latest public figures to sign the “We Have Faith” petition, which has also been signed by thousands of people across Africa.

The We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice rally and concert takes place at Kings Park Rugby Stadium on November 27 at 14h00 when the rally itself starts. Doors open at noon, and there will be local entertainment for the following two hours. The event is free and all are welcome. However, as a safety and security precaution, tickets will be required to enter the Rally. Tickets will be available from November 11 at The Shark Tank Shop, the Diakonia Council of Churches and various other organisations ahead of time. Tickets can also be collected on the day at the stadium ticket office.

For more information, contact: The campaign Faith Secretariat on 031 310 3500 / 3512.