The Zithulele Partnership came into being at the beginning of 2002 . Its purpose was to support and expand the URC Zithulele’s, Transkei, ministering and to develop strong relationships between the various partners.
Initially, the partnership consists of churches in the Western Cape (DRC Kenridge and DRC Sonstraal), Eastern Cape (DRC Summerstrand, DRC Dias [Port Alfred]), Southern Cape (DRC Joubertina and URC Bloemendal) and of course URC Zithulele. URC Bloemendal is not part of the partnership anymore. Since 2014 Kraaifontein North is also part of the partnership.
In addition to the involvement of these congregations themselves, the partnership also manages the Dias Trust by means of trustees appointed from these various congregations. The Dias Trust was established specifically for the purpose of promoting evangelism in the Transkei.
Partnership activities usually involves continuous prayer and financial support for the work at Zithulele; an annual partnership meeting (in February) during which our annual visits and projects are planned (we pray and socialize and in this way strengthen our existing ties of friendship); two visits – one anchored by Manchester and one by Kenridge – where church members from different churches can join them. For example, Summerstrand had sent several young teachers and students to the Winter School and in 2009 the confirmation class of Maitland joined the building project. From time to time members of Zithulele visit the other partners in return. In 2014 there were two more visits, anchored by Kenridge and Sonstraal – a winter school at Seaview school, and participation in the women’s conference.
The foundation of such an outreach visit is: the normal participation in church activities, projects in collaboration with the youth and the women, teaching opportunities for church leaders, one or more building projects, the Winter School at Seaview Senior Secondary (at Zithulele), and support to the hospital (usually we try to bring along medical specialists on the team).
Since the end of 2009, informal discussions on the possible extension of the work began within the Zithulele Partnership. In February 2010, this matter was put on the table during the partnership meeting by the church members of Zithulele themselves. The URC Zithulele took a weekend trip to Butterworth – Rev. Ntlatywa is the custodian of the vacant church in Butterworth. The discussions on expansion gained further momentum during the visits of Kenridge and Sonstraal to Zithulele in September / October 2010 and an exploration visit at the end of November 2010. The exploration report is available from Kobus Odendaal ([email protected]) at the CFW of the DRC family Cape region, or from Johann du Plessis ([email protected]) of the DRC Kenridge.
Johann du Plessis at [email protected] inquiries.