Unequal ANC still ruled by patriarchy
Minister speaks out after president condemns gender-based violence
While President Cyril Ramaphosa has committed to lead from the front in fighting gender-based violence, ANC Eastern Cape leader and minister of communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams spoke out against patriarchy still existing in the ruling party, “whether we like it or not”.
Ramaphosa was addressing thousands of ANC members at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday when he called on all men to take a stand and commit to helping fight gender-based violence and discrimination, which received applause from both men and women present.
Ramaphosa described gender-based violence as a crisis, saying “we need to take huge strides in improving the position of women in society”.
While the ANC has a policy of 50/50 representation of women and men in its councils, legislatures and parliament, it found itself with egg on its face in December 2017 when the ANC’s voting delegates only voted one woman, Jessie Duarte, into the party’s top six officials.
Ramaphosa said the ANC had to increase its gender representation within the party’s executive structures, as well as public institutions.
Ramaphosa, commenting on gender-based violence, said: “We need to be more determined to end the violence that is being perpetrated against the women of our country.
“We need to end femicide [the killing of a woman or girl, in particular by a man and on account of her gender], as well as rape of women of our country such that they live in peace and security.
“All South Africans have to work together to end genderbased violence and the patriarchal practices that give rise to it.”
Ndabeni-Abrahams said it was crucial the president prioritise the fight against genderbased violence and the creation of equal opportunities for women in both the public and private sector.
This, she said, as the ANC’s nomination processes for the May general election confirms the nomination of men as the top candidates in all provinces, with the exception of Mpumalanga. Ndabeni-Abrahams said Ramaphosa and his ANCled government would have to intervene because it was clear women did not support each other within the ANC.
Ramaphosa won against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma when the party held its national elective conference in December 2017, which was the first time the ANC Women’s League had supported the nomination of a woman as a president since the 1994 elections.
“As much as we always talk about women emancipation, in the ANC across the provinces men dominate the lists because women do not support each other,” she said.
“We are preaching equality but it is the patriarchy that is still there in the ANC whether we like it or not.
“We might not like to talk about it, but it still exists…
“The ANC has to intervene because it has to lead by its own principles and policies.
“They will have to appoint women premiers. We won’t have all provinces having men as premiers.”
Ndabeni-Abrahams said if need be, parliament would have to craft a policy which enforced the appointment of women across both the private and public sector.
She said such quotas would have to serve as a guide when boards of state-owned enterprises were recruited, as well as senior government positions such as director generals and deputy DGs.
Ramaphosa said: “We need to take huge strides in improving the positions of women in society using our constitution, our legislation and policies.”
The president also committed to prioritising the longawaited multi-billion rand Mzimvubu water catchment project after the May election, if the ANC wins.
He said he was fully aware that many Eastern Cape residents were waiting eagerly “for this Mzimvubu project”.
The project, which has been delayed for many years, is aimed at providing piped water to several districts, including O R Tambo and Alfred Nzo, and is expected to create hundreds of permanent and temporary jobs.
Several national and Eastern Cape leaders attended the ANC rally including Buffalo City mayor Xola Pakati, provincial legislature deputy speaker Mlibo Qoboshiyane, as well as MECs Oscar Mabuyane, Xolile Nqatha, Bulelwa Tunyiswa and MPLs Sakhumzi Somyo and Mninawe Nyusile.
The president also received loud cheers from the crowd when he announced the ANC’s plan to lower data costs.
“We have to deal with data costs, an issue which you have raised concern about,” he said.
He also gave a stern warning to civil servants who continued to do business with the state, saying those who defied this would face the consequences.
“Your job is to serve the people of our country.
“We are warning transgressors there will be consequences,” he said.
Men dominate the lists [in provinces] because women do not support each other