Edwin Cleophas

Edvin Cleophas
Community Development, Safety & Social Justice
What is your educational or experience background that equips you to add value to this SCA team?

Edwin Cleophas is the Executive Director of the Social Justice Agency (SJA) which is a company focused on addressing issues related to injustice, inequality and transformation in South Africa. He hosts local and international dialogues on issues related to the racial division in South Africa and the world over to establish lasting and meaningful relationships amongst people from different racial groups. In order to be effective in hosting critical dialogues, he had to obtain the expertise of understanding dialogue, its function in the process of amongst others community development, transformation and social cohesion.

He also serves as a Social Cohesion Advocate in the ministry of Arts and Culture where he heads the steering committee division focused racial transformation in South Africa. Edwin has over the past decade been focused on working on transformation, with a special focus on race relations within South Africa. He is in the process of completing a PhD in Educational Support at Stellenbosch University under the supervision of Professor Ronel Carollison.

This as he believes that there exist a special relationship between education and transformation. He holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the University of the Western Cape which he completed in 2018. A B-Psych Equivalent Degree from Stellenbosch University completed in 2018 and is a registered psychometrist with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa. He also holds a BA Honours Psychology degree from the University of the Western Cape completed in 2016. He completed his BtH Theololgy degree from the University of the Western Cape in 2016. 

Why are you a Social Cohesion Advocate?

Because I believe that we need to actively participate and contribute towards building a more just and equal society. 

What change are you passionate about seeing come about?

Racial integration, land redistribution, social cohesion, equality, justice, dignity. Restorative justice that will attempt to address amongst other things the afore mentioned topics. 

What makes you feel uniquely South African?

I am a Camisa African and my ancestors are the Khoi and the San and we are native to this country. So my heritage and blood connects me to the land. 

What is your dream for South Africa by 2030?

My dream is to build a more equal and just society where all people can dream and achieve those dreams without being afraid or without having to fight a system designed to make you fail. 

What do you believe South Africans need to do to make this dream a reality?

We need unite and stand together as one regardless of our differences. In order to do this we have to acknowledge our past, accept responsibility for our role in it and strive towards true forgiveness that can built lasting and genuine relationships

Where do we come from (as a nation)?

We come from pain and darkness and while many would like to move past this, we have to deal with it in order for us to enjoy our moment in the light. 

Where are we heading?

We are working towards a country where all people will find belonging and connectivity to the land. It will take hard work and dedication but I belief that we have our focus geared towards greatness. 

How do we wish to conduct ourselves in SA?

As agents of change who are setting a great example of the impact we can have when we stand together and work together, united as one. 

How do we wish to conduct ourselves (and to be viewed) internationally?

As a partner, we want other countries to now that they can rely on us to always strive towards doing the right thing and empower and support the most vulnerable in society as that is testament to our need to create a new world where all people can live in harmony. 

How do we hold each other’s hands as we build and form a cohesive nation?

By building and forming lasting and genuine relationships across racial lines. Relationships that seek to encourage, empower and offer dignity to our neighbours, our friends and our families. To strive towards the highest ideal which is to love each other as we love ourselves