Congregants of the Rivers Church in Sandton, Johannesburg have criticised their pastor for allegedly saying that whites were wealthier because they worked harder than other races.

Senior pastor Andre Olivier made the comments during his sermon on Sunday.

He could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Buma Mapukata said on Twitter they were told that whites had more money because they worked harder.

“Why do white people have money? They work,” Mapukata said congregants were told.

A caller to Talk Radio 702 on Monday said Olivier told congregants he could not understand why people wanted whites to leave South Africa, because they contributed to the country.

“I feel a lot of it was an exaggeration of what’s being said on social media, but it was really unsavoury what he said,” the woman said.

“The undertone was black people haven’t worked hard enough to have what white people have or that black people are poor because they don’t work hard enough. And then he mentioned ‘why must white people share their wealth, because they’ve worked for it. Would you, if asked, give away your wealth?’ ”

However, she said Olivier did not say blacks were lazy.

The caller said half the congregation reacted to the sermon by clapping while the other half did not.

When News24 contacted the church, a woman at reception said Olivier was unavailable and that one of the church leaders would call back. Nobody called back.

According to its website, it is a “Christ-centred church that preaches the truth about Jesus in a fresh, illustrative and creative way”.

The caller said she was looking for a different church.

“I am definitely not going back there,” she said.

A link to the sermon was also circulated on social media. To access it, however, cost R25.