Min­is­ter up­set at lack of women elected

The Star Late Edition - - NATION - BONGANI HANS bongani.hans@inl.co.za

CO-OP­ER­A­TIVE Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs Min­is­ter Zweli Mkhize has ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment that there were so few women elected to se­nior po­si­tions in lo­cal govern­ment.

“There are about 642 fe­male coun­cil­lors out of 1 840. I think we can do bet­ter than that. There are 16 fe­male may­ors and 38 males, 19 fe­male speak­ers and 38 males.

He said women must rise against be­ing un­der­mined be­cause of their gen­der, and fight to take over po­si­tions which are cur­rently dom­i­nated by their male coun­ter­parts.

Mkhize was ad­dress­ing about 300 KwaZulu-Natal fe­male coun­cil­lors and tra­di­tional lead­ers at their grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony held in Dur­ban last night. They grad­u­ated af­ter taking lo­cal govern­ment cour­ses pro­vided by Cogta in the prov­ince.

The cer­e­mony was the pre­lude to a two-day Women in Lead­er­ship Di­a­logue to be ad­dressed by Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency for the Na­tional Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

“It is im­por­tant to cre­ate a plat­form where women lead­ers are able to sit to­gether and share their ex­pe­ri­ences,” Mkhize said, adding that the at­ti­tude against women should come to an end. He said women should fight against gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion by ob­tain­ing the skills needed to be con­fi­dent when they ad­dressed peo­ple.

“There are dif­fer­ences be­tween re­spect­ing and lack of self con­fi­dence. We must end lack of self con­fi­dence among women by teach­ing peo­ple that when they are led by a woman, they are led by a ca­pa­ble leader who pos­sesses knowl­edge,” said Mkhize.

Cogta MEC No­musa Dube-Ncube said women lead­ers had an im­por­tant role to de­liver health, ed­u­ca­tion and job cre­ation in their com­mu­ni­ties.

“As women lead­ers, we can play an im­por­tant part in de­vel­op­ing our com­mu­ni­ties. Since I have been a coun­cil­lor for many years, I know that it is not easy to be a coun­cil­lor, and worse to be a woman coun­cil­lor,” Dube-Ncube said.

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