Conflict and drought are threatening more than 20 million people in four countries with the prospect of famine, and the U.N. has called this the largest humanitarian crisis since the world body was formed.
Following its own findings of severe corruption in government, the South African Council of Churches called for the dissolving of parliament and new general elections.
Corruption must be rooted out at every level of government in South Africa, said the country's Catholic bishops.
They said while they respected calls for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma, "such a step would not in itself be a complete solution."
Zuma faced widespread calls to resign after he fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a move that saw South Africa's credit rating downgraded to junk status.
South Africa's Jesuit Institute said it is appalled at government actions that led to the deaths of 94 mentally ill patients in Gauteng province, and the bishops' justice and peace commission called for compensation to affected families.