Thousands of people are expected to converge on Johannesburg’s FNB stadium on New Year’s Eve to attend controversial Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s annual crossover service.
According to a statement by Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church on Saturday, the event is expected to draw over 30,000 people from more than 30 countries, who will join about 90,000 local church members.
“The Crossover Service is an annual event where church members and followers converge to end a year and begin another one together, united in prayer. The event is held at such venues as determined from time to time.
“This year’s Crossover Service — dubbed the ‘Night of God’s Open Hands’ — is set to replicate the mammoth attendance that has characterised the event over the years,” the statement reads.
“In an article on CNBC Africa, lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Unathi Sonwabile Henama noted that the event is ‘profound’ considering that Gauteng is not a traditional holiday destination, as the province experiences the greater outmigration as people, who travel to the sea and the rural hinterlands along the century-old migrant labour system’,” said the church.
According to the church, Henama noted that by being held in Soweto, the crossover service would disperse financial expenditure to the township tourism economy, ensuring that the residents of Soweto become beneficiaries of the event.
“The five different sectors of the tourism economy which includes: accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation and travel services have benefited from the crossover service.”
The church added that it was in talks with different stakeholders in the tourism industry to help devise mechanisms to ensure the safety and security of visitors arriving in Gauteng for the event.