The African National Congress government has made great progress in advancing the emancipation of women, ANC President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
South Africa had shown considerable improvement in fighting patriarchy and gender oppression, he told ANC supporters during the party’s 105th anniversary celebrations at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg.
“[Former ANC] president OR Tambo recognised that the struggle for national liberation is intrinsically linked to the emancipation of women and advocated that women take up their roles ‘among the fighting ranks of our movement and its command posts’. Equally, we must be sensitive to the reality that we must engender a sense of equality between men and women,” Zuma said.
The ANC Women’s League on Saturday formally came out in support of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed her ex-husband as ANC president as well as South African president.
Zuma said it was incumbent upon all South Africans to remember that patriarchy disadvantaged both women and men.
“We must be consistent in challenging societal norms that engender sexist stereotypes. We have implemented many successful programmes to advance the economic and social status of women, but much still remains to be done. Women have made more strides over the last two decades than ever before.”
Zuma said the ANC would actively work to improve women’s access to economic opportunities and, in particular, business financing and credit, so that women could pursue business opportunities in all areas.
“We urge government to utilise institutions such as the recently launched Women’s Co-operative Bank and all other development finance institutions to further the economic emancipation of women,” he said.
The African National Congress has shown it is beyond the point of no return and President Jacob Zuma’s speech at the ANC’s 105th birthday celebrations at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, was the “telltale last gasp of a dying organisation”, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Sunday.
“It is an out-of-touch and divided party that is unable to self-correct and [has] passed the point of no return.
Following the ANC’s results at the polls in August last year one would have expected a humble and introspective reflection on the past year and a meaningful commitment to effect real and substantive internal change,” he said in a statement.
“Rather, we were force-fed another rose-tinted ‘good story’ by a president who has overseen the party’s decimation over the past seven years. While the rest of the country is looking forward, the ANC can only but fondly recall its former glories.
“While the ANC celebrates in lavish style today [Sunday] we live in a country where nine million of our people are without work and have given up any hope of finding a job. We live in a deeply unfair and unequal society, where the colour of your skin still determines your chances of succeeding in life. And this is only worsened by the ANC who run a dishonest government, putting their friends first and the people of South Africa last,” Maimane said.
The people of South Africa did not trust the ANC anymore and last year’s election results showed just that. After almost 23 years of democracy, words and empty rhetoric were simply not enough. Long-winded recitals of “good story” statistics did not create jobs or feed hungry South Africans.
While the focus of 2017 would be on the election of the new president of the ANC, South Africans were beginning to realise that no reform in the ANC was possible. Whatever happened in December 2017, the ANC would remain “committed to corruption, insider trading, and unemployment”.
The DA was the “only hope for a better South Africa”, he said.
“Where the DA governs, our number one focus is on creating jobs for the nine million South Africans without work. South Africans are beginning to feel the DA difference because where we govern you’ll find the lowest unemployment rate in the country, the highest access to basic services for poor South Africans, and a zero-tolerance of corruption.
“The tipping point is fast approaching as South Africans of all races are beginning to realise that where the DA governs there is opportunity and a better life for all. While the ANC talks, the DA does. And come 2019 we aim to occupy the Union Buildings to revive the national project of building a united, non-racial, and prosperous South Africa for all who live in it,” Maimane said.
– African News Agency