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South Africa Churches Protest Building Moratorium

Cape Town congregations face shortage of worship buildings.

Pastors in Cape Town, South Africa, want the city to take a second look at a moratorium on building new churches that both parties signed two years ago.

The moratorium ended a crackdown on churches illegally built on city land; city administrators agreed to stop demolishing illegal churches as long as no more churches were built without approval.

But now the Western Cape Christian Ministers Forum (WCCMF) alleges that many of the 2,000 churches it represents are using houses for church services because the city is not providing land agreements for new churches in a timely manner, The West Cape News reported.

"There is land available," WCCMF coordinator Derrick Mtsolo told the newspaper. "[But] the city takes too long to give the land to our churches."

However, the City of Cape Town Property Management Directorate says it has worked regularly with the WCCMF to identify viable sites for church structures.

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