Intercape driving Gospel through Southern Africa

Intercape’s new, flagship, G7 Sleepliner bus.

“Firstly above all, we want to acknowledge our Father in Heaven who created all things. We honour You as the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings”

Those were the words of welcome that the Intercape Sleepliner hostess spoke at the start of my recent trip from Johannesburg to PE on board one of the buses of Southern Africa’s largest, privately-owned intercity transport service.

“Yes!” I exclaimed inwardly, as she continued with a prayer for protection and blessing for every passenger on the journey, concluding with the words: “We pray for safety on the roads and we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ so that You will be glorified. Amen.”

Johann Ferreira, CEO and owner of Intercape.

But while I appreciated the company’s unashamed acknowledgement of our Lord, Jesus, and a Christian movie that was screened during the trip, a quick search on Google shows that some passengers take offence to what they describe as “trapping” and “brainwashing” passengers.

Intercape Pastor and Employee Wellbeing Officer, Hanli Marais said: ” Our ethos is displayed prominently on our website and we also make it clear on our tickets sold to the public that Christian content will be screened on the bus.”

She acknowledged that the company does face a significant amount of flak from the media as a result of its bold Christian stance and “Intertainment” programme featuring Christian movies.

Not fazed by opposition
“But we are not fazed. We receive many compliments and positive testimonies as well,” she said. She emailed me a copy of one of the testimonies, by a young former New Age woman who testified that the prayers and movies on an Intercape bus in 2008, which she had hated at the time, had played a key role in leading her into a life-changing relationship with Christ. The young woman, who said she sometimes used to carry 650 occult crystals around with her, said: “Jesus came and fetched my heart out of the Intercape bus, even though I had turned my back on Him and rejected Him. He came and fetched me in order to love me. He cleansed me of everything that was ugly and dirty. All of my past sins were wiped out!”

Marais, a pastor and industrial psychologist, said that Intercape sole-owner Johann Ferreira is committed to a vision of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout Southern Africa through the medium of a well-run and profitable bus service.

Indeed the company invests in safety and service, with its own training academy in Cape Town and the inter-city transport industry’s largest network of service depots and offices in South Africa. Last month Intercape became the first in the industry in South Africa to introduce G7 luxury double-decker coaches which include unique safety and comfort features. Intercape was also the first inter-city transporter to establish routes in other Southern African countries and now operates in seven countries in the region: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi.

Unique ministry vision
However, it is the unfolding ministry vision of the company that is most unique. It is a vision that began when Ferreira purchased all of the shares of the company in 2008 and was led to start a weekly church service at the company’s Cape Town head office, as well as a charity outreach to poor children in neighbouring Guguletu. Those beginnings have developed into the I-Foundation, an initiative which overarches the company’s internal and community transformational goals.

Marais explained that the foundation comprises three arms, I-Care, which currently includes six child and youth-oriented feeding and upliftment outreaches in Cape Town and one in Widhoek; I-Equip, which impacts marginalised people through skills training and job placement; and Intercede, an internal initiative which facilitates prayer and spiritualĀ  development in small “forum groups”. Building on the company’s commitment to the Unashamedly Ethical movement, I-Equip is currently driving a programme called Character Transformation in the Workplace, which is aimed at building a commitment to ethical conduct and service excellence in every Intercape employee throughout Southern Africa.

Next year, in response to prophetic words about ministering in Africa, the company will be moving its head office from Cape Town, which has been the headquarters since 1979, to Pretoria. From the new base the company will undertake a big thrust to take the I-Foundation with its practical demonstration of the gospel into Africa.

27 Comments

  1. I was blown away one day when I took the bus to JHB from PMB. I now only promote my friends, family and sponsors to ONLY use their bus service. They are true examples of Christian business!

  2. Johann – as a Christian absolutely PASSIONATE about my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I salute you! Leadership like yours is SO VERY SORELY NEEDED in South Africa, but also Worldwide! I realise you area busy man so I won’t take up your time reading this, but I PRAY that MANY business owners will read Andre’s article on you and follow your lead. I design and write training material for the food industry, and each item I design is dedicated to the Lord, and each item carries with it a a prayer printed inside. The entire business is about ministry. Once again – WELL DONE!! South Africa can be PROUD of you!

    • I am just read this and this BLOWS MY MIND!
      Thank You Father for Your faithful servants and children who do not hesitate to do Your will.

  3. Well done Johann – Glory to God!

  4. Stunning to see how God is working,let us all be bold in our workplace,business,homes and proclaim the name of JESUS as LORD and SAVIOUR. All praise and glory to HIM.

  5. Most encouraging story. It’s one thing to dedicate a business to God, it’s another thing to work ut that dedication through God-pleasing business ethics. I pause to pray that your business will enhance the reputation of Jesus in a sceptical nation.

  6. Praise the LORD ALL MIGHTY!!!
    GOD Bless you and your staff.

    Amen

  7. Bold and Brilliant.
    Praise GOD

  8. I have been travelling on the Intercape busses and have been involved with Intercape directly and truly can say, to God be the Glory they are truly an example. There set a high standard in all they do from equipping there staff, reaching out to the needy and they are not only praying for the safety of the passengers that travel on there busses but also praying for the success of the whole industry. We keep them in prayer as they Glorify God in all they do. Thank you to Hanli Marais only to mention 1 for the Word that you bring on a Friday morning is in season on and a life changing experience. To God be the Glory for your obediance.

  9. My mom only ever let me travel by Intercape bus company and it was such a relief to have Christian content on the travel journey up to George and back.
    Thank you for the inspiring words and example!
    Praise God

  10. Johann, I pray the fullness of the 7fold Spirit on you and your entire team in Jesus mighty Name. It is such a privilege to bless your buses on the road when ever I see them. I bless you and your business in abundance and all the honor to God. Lizbe Rabie

  11. Your gospel message and music is entirely uplifting. When I travel Intercape, I believe I am safe because we travel with the Lord. One question though, there is a very inspiring gospel music video whose band’s name I could not pick up but the song that features on this music video is entitled ” I am not forgotten, He knows my name”. Can you please advise me the name of the gropup or band so that i can get myself a copy?

  12. The name of the band is Israel Houghton and the New Breed.

  13. So glad to see there is prominent business leaders in the workplace who is not ashamed to share the Gospel of Christ. I never travel by bus, but will definitely use Intercape if I need to.

  14. I thank our Lord Jesus for your faithfulnes in declaring the Gosple on your buses and for not being ashamed of Him

  15. I have travelled a few times in the last 6 months with Intercape Sleepliner. For me it was the most relaxing trips everytime. All the staff are so friendly and helpfull and very cautious of one’s safety. The fact that the Stewardess started the journey by praying for God’s hand and spirit on us, knocked my feet and I landed on my bum! It is wonderfull to know that there are still big companies that has God in their company. The services on the bus is excellent not to even talk about their concern of each and every traveller. Congratulations to you, God bless and a Merry Christmas and Happy new year to each and every one of you and your personal. Kind regards Nonnie

  16. By far the most pleasant road experience I’ve had in all my years of travelling. God bless you Intercape and may you prosper and continue to help others. Amen.

    • I wish to take this oppotunity by thanking god about the gospel that is on yor entertainment screen,i travelled from Jhb to PE on 14.12.2012 returned on the 16.12.2012 what a pleasant trip that was.To the crew on that bus i say keep up the good work you are doing,I really enjoyed that trip.given a chance i would travel Intercape again.

  17. Intercape stick to what you’re doing,its beautiful.we are living in times of grace so keep on spreading good news of Christ.its my first time ever to hear that the owner of big business of such magnitude is a christian,i thank my Lord,Jesus.i’m touched.

  18. Gbolahan Akinola

    This is lovely. Mr.Johan Ferreira, you are an example of a kingdom centered business man. May God raise more men like you in the body of Christ, especially across Africa. I will share your testimony to challenge several other Christian business men in our churches back in Ghana and Nigeria and every forum of Christian business men. More Grace to you. You and the entire staff of intercape are huge encouragement to many, stay blessed.

  19. Pastor Andries Mogwera

    i really applaud de intercape buss for their excellent and unique service without comprimising ur unashamdely promoting the message of the Cross n surely the Lord will make you the heads and no weapon formed against you shall prosper. Well done good and faithfull servant.

  20. I thank you for the good work that your are doing, and for that amazing prayer that is prayed before the bus drives off. I was so blessed and speechless to that that prayer on the bus! God bless you!

  21. Religion should not be forced on anyone. I travel with Intercape because I think their buses are the safest option. That has nothing to do with a magic man in the sky (you mental-cases). So unless they don’t like money (which they clearly do, otherwise the tickets would be free which would help them brainwash willing fellow weirdos) they should realize not only are there non-religious people, but also literally 1000’s of other gods which are as real and “right” to them as the Christian god.

    Get over yourselves and join us in the real world.

  22. My husband Bevis and I just love the Lord so much. This will be the 1st time ever to go from PMBurg To Pretoria. I have read so much about the safety and the God filled journey we are goind to have. Can’t wait God bless you all. Thank you

  23. Continue spreading the word of God and may he lead you to greater heights.keep it up

  24. The last time we took the bus before it departs we used to pray but today I am in the. bus from Capetown to. Johannesburg and no prayer was done for no. TV. what’s going onot?

  25. Really its not like we don’t, we do but praying as a group in the asking for protection it’s good. I was in number 126 left without praying as they. always do we had a problem they. It was gearbox, mechanic came fixed later on it was another problem so they swapped the buses I started praying quietly and the was anorthern lady behind me praying also. Now we on our way to Johannesburg. Keep on spreading the gospel