Friday, May 31, 2013

Statement From the ANC Women's League in South Africa

Press Statements
Post NEC media statement

27 May 2013

The African National Congress Women`s League (ANCWL) held a successful and productive NEC meeting over this past weekend.

On social ills

Arising from the Political overview delivered by the ANCWL President, Angie Motshekga, the NEC noted with concern the ongoing scourge of drug abuse prevalent in our communities, in many instances transforming our children into monsters who at times harm their own families to get hold of money for drugs.

We would like to commend the mothers of Eldorado Park for their bold stand and calling for an intervention by the President in this regard. As we have mothers within the Women`s League who understand their suffering and know this pain we can sympathize with them.

We would like to commend the ANC-led government under at the helm of President Jacob Zuma, for the timely visit to Eldorado Park and the quick and continued intervention by the SAPS and the Gauteng Provincial Government.

It is clear that this intervention is having an impact in this community and we are confident that this will be a long-term and impactful campaign to totally eradicate drugs. However it must be noted that Eldorado Park is not the only community with this scourge. There are many others where we are losing a generation of our children to drug abuse. As the ANCWL we are calling on these communities to also rise and work with our government, so that Government can make similar interventions in all areas of concern in a bid to completely rid our country of this scourge. The ANCWL is committed to supporting this initiative by our government to stop drug abuse in our communities and save our children. The ANCWL commits itself to be social monitors at the level of our branches and assist communities by keeping an eye on children when they are on their way to school and back given that this is mainly when they are targeted by drug dealers. Every member of the ANCWL and society in general has a responsibility to ensure that children are in school and that they get there safely.

The ANCWL believes that the brutal rapes taking place across the country happen in many instances as a result of drug abuse. No sane-minded human could perform the atrocities we are seeing committed against our women and girls. While we are aware there are many contributing factors to why men rape, we are of the view that eradicating drugs will make a dent in the violent acts we have seen in the media over recent months.

The NEC would like to commend our provinces for the on-going stop rape campaign. We launched this campaign on Human Rights day with the handing over of a memorandum to the Justice Cluster of Ministers and it was received by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and has reached the President of the Republic himself. (The memorandum is available on the ANCWL website).

The campaign was then carried to provinces where we have seen women in their green blouses picketing at the court cases of alleged rapists. We maintain that rape accused, more especially repeat offenders should not get bail. Our reasons for this were made apparent with two incidents one in Limpopo where a man who was out on bail for raping an elderly women, then went out and raped a two year old, who later succumbed to her injuries and died.

There was another incident in KZN where a man out on bail raped a girl and her mother. These must stop. And accused rapists must remain behind bars!

In the Free State counseling sessions were held for victims of rape, while in KZN, Western Cape, North West, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga anti-rape awareness events and marches were held. We have seen women come out in their numbers to support victims of rape at numerous court cases, not only the high profile ones covered by the media. In some provinces there have been meetings with provincial prosecutors and we have developed a good mutually beneficial relationship in a bid to ensure (that) rapists are behind bars.

We can report that other organisations, NGO`s and government departments have been extremely supportive of our efforts and have spear-headed joint campaigns with the ANCWL.

We believe awareness and outrage regarding rape is at an all time high and every South African can do his or her bit by condemning and acting against rape in every sphere of society.

In dealing with the social crimes we have been discussing, the ANC Women`s League believes that there is a dire need for more forensic social workers to work hand in hand with investigators. These professionals can make a huge impact in the success rate in fighting these social ills. We call on our young people going into University to consider a meaningful career in Forensic Social Work for the benefit of society and to make a real difference in the country.

On the Charlotte Maxeke/ 100 years of women`s struggles Campaign.

The ANC Women`s League launched the 100 years of women in struggle campaign at the University of Wits, with a memorial lecture on Charlotte Maxeke. We are pleased to report this campaign has been taken up by all our provinces who now have a clear programme to engage young women and share with them the rich history of our women in the struggle.

The Progressive Women`s Movement of South Africa have also embraced this initiative of educating our young women about our stalwart, Mme Charlotte Maxeke (his year and have invited women to commemorate the historic march against land ownership denial, which took place on 28th May 1913. They PWMSA is working with the Provincial Government in the Free State to reenact this historic march roughly along its original route from Waaihoek to Mangaung. The ANCWL acknowledges this event and we have agreed to fully support it. It also reminds us that historically and to date, issues around land ownership by women is still a contentious topic that needs to be addressed 100 years on.

On 2014 General Elections

The ANCWL focused in-depth on the upcoming 2014 general elections and we would like to let South Africans know we are always and consistently ready to serve. We are ready to release our immense election machinery to ensure the ANC maintains its overwhelming majority. As ANC Women`s League members, we are members of the ANC first and therefore these elections will be a priority of the ANCWL going forward. As Women, we have proven time and again how capable we are. The recent ANCWL provincial conference in the North West is an example of what can be achieved when we are untied. It was seamless, and the province put on a mighty display of absolute unity, despite perceived challenges in the province. As women that is where our strength lies - to unite behind a common cause. We will ensure that the opposition does not make any gains in the upcoming elections.

As the ANCWL we are mothers and we are well aware of the concerns of mothers and that concerns of mothers are our concerns and they are the concerns of the nation. This makes us suitably placed to know the needs of the people and address them.

We have made immense gains during our almost 20 year tenure of leadership, and as the ANCWL we are looking forward to the 20 year consolidated report from government on the gains made since the dawn on democracy.

Media are forever quick to report on the negatives to the point that a perception exists that the ANC has not delivered. To dispel this myth, we would like to quote Race Relations Institute research. The institute`s deputy CEO, Frans Cronje, released a statement saying that there is a "myth (has taken hold) in South Africa that service delivery was a failure. However, research we have published over the past several years suggests that this is not the case."

Data published by the institute - an independent think-tank producing research, policy critiques and risk analysis on South Africa - shows that between 1996 and 2010:

The number of South African households living in formal houses increased from 5.8-million to 11-million or by 89.9%. Over the same period the proportion of all households living in a formal house increased from 64% to 76%.

The number of South African households with access to electricity increased from 5.2-million to 11.9-million or by 127.9%, while the proportion of all households with access to electricity increased from 58% to 83%.
The number of South African households with access to piped water increased from 7.2-million to 12.7-million or by 76.6%. The proportion with access to piped water increased from 80% to 89%.

He went on to say "Increases of a similar magnitude are true for all 15 service delivery indicators tracked by the institute".

We believe this is but a snippet of what is to come out of the 20-year report, and talks to facts that the ANC does deliver.

On other issues discussed

The ANCWL reflected on the current instability at the labour front in our country and expressed serious concerns. The Marikana situation remains a course for concern. We call on the Farlam Commission to speed up and complete its task and report the findings/ recommendations to President Zuma. This we believe will shed some light on what led to Marikana and on ensuring that "A Marikana" never reoccur in our country.

The ANCWL would like to see Commissioner Phiega being allowed space to focus on her other important tasks of leading our SAPS against crime, lest we later accuse her of inability to lead.

We are equally concerned of the Mining Houses` plans to retrench some of the mining workers. A speedy and amicable resolution is needed. In this regard, we welcome the interventions by our ANC government, including the call made by President Zuma for calm and dedication to stability as well as non-violent mechanism to resolving disputes currently prevalent in the sector. Our country needs jobs and stability. We therefore can`t afford to have instability and more job losses.

The ANCWL has therefore resolved to engage the Women Alliance structures to address these matters as well as the need to strengthen our Federation, COSATU. We are also pleased that issues between the Education department and Cosatu have been resolved after the disgusting display of sexism at their protest march.

The NEC discussed the "perceived or real corruption" in our society. We congratulate our ANC Government for acting against corruption, with government action leading to some people being found guilty and sentenced for corruption. We however call for more firmer and tougher actions so that we can eradicate this scourge. We must truly demonstrate that the ANC policies have always advocated for anti-corruption.

The ANCWL respect our culture and traditions as encapsulated in our RSA constitution and in our laws. The recent death of Initiates experienced in Mpumalanga and Limpopo are not to be tolerated. Death of those children and any future death must be avoided at all cost. These initiation schools have existed for many years with no registration of loss of lives. We urge those who are responsible to ensure that this is not repeated. Our Traditional Leaders must therefore take keen interest in this regard, in ensuring that our cultures and traditions are administered in a manner that leads to no loss of even a single live.

The ANCWL joins the rest of Africa in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU this being the decade of the African Woman, we celebrate all our achievements and recognize that we need to do more for our continent so richly endowed with both natural and human resources but that is still so poor in many respects. We recommit ourselves to continue working hard for the advancement of women on our continent and proudly continue to congratulate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of her achievements in her role thus far.

On ANCWL National Conference

The ANCWL is due for a National Conference later this year. The Organization is processing conference preparations and getting regions ready for the National Audit of our membership. We have been visiting our three remaining provinces which are getting ready to hold their conferences, namely, the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.

The NEC of the ANCWL have agreed that it will meet with the ANC leadership so that we collectively work out a national conference date that does not interfere with our election campaign of the ANC.

TROY MARTENS on behalf of the ANCWL
ANC Women`s League Head of Communications
079 899 3070
011 376 1055

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