Religious leaders want number of church attendees set at half capacity

Earlier this week, Ramaphosa announced that churches will be permitted to gather subject to health protocols and that no more than 50 congregants be allowed indoors and 100 people at outdoor venues.

FILE: The bishops argue that some small churches, whose full capacity is already at 50 congregants, will become super spreaders. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Religious leaders are calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to increase the number of people allowed to gather at churches to at least half capacity.

Earlier this week, Ramaphosa announced that churches will be permitted to gather, subject to health protocols and that no more than 50 congregants be allowed indoors and 100 people at outdoor venues.

Religious group All Africa Bishops Council said while they welcomed the relaxation of the regulations, the stipulated number simply didn't cater for so-called mega-churches.

The bishops argue that some small churches, whose full capacity is already at 50 congregants, will become super spreaders.

The council's Bishop Kelly Tsedu Muntswu said government should reconsider its decision.

“We thought that we would open up for 50% of the capacity of the building. In other words, if your building can take 200, then you can cater for 100. If you cater for 50, then you take 25.”

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