Annual General Conference 2004

26th ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE of the IFP WOMEN’S BRIGADE

Emandleni-Matleng: October 31, 2004

RESOLUTIONS

RESOLUTION 1: HIV/AIDS

Conference notes that the IFP is the largest black opposition party in South Africa led by a statesman with a proven and consistent track record on this issue.

Due to government indifference and its failure to fulfil its electoral promise to roll out antiretroviral drugs coupled with pharmaceutical greed and deepening gender inequalities, the HIV/Aids pandemic continues to flourish without an end in sight.

Two and a half times more young women are HIV-positive than their male counterparts, and rape is a significant factor in the transmission of the deadly virus.

We therefore resolve:

  1. to heed the call of the President of the IFP, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, to ensure that moral renewal is the central plank of the strategy to deal with the pandemic of HIV/Aids, which can be achieved by following the African moral code, and adhering to the teachings of the Church and all faith-based organisations;
  2. to urge fathers to fulfil their role in educating their sons about sexuality and the value of abstinence and fidelity;
  3. to instil in our children an environment of trust and openness so that they can talk about sexuality freely with their parents;
  4. to smash the walls of stigma and silence by embracing people living with HIV/Aids with love, compassion and support;
  5. to call upon the President of South Africa to provide political leadership to root out the malaise in the Department of Health to ensure that the missed targets of providing antiretroviral treatment to 53,000 patients by March 2005 are met by the department;
  6. to call upon our HIV/Aids spokespersons in the National Assembly, the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Provincial Parliaments to construct a co-ordinated approach with a monitoring mechanism to hold the government to account for its failure to combat HIV/Aids by, inter alia, tabling questions, motions and Private Member’s Bills.

RESOLUTION 2: UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY

Conference notes that despite our progressive Constitution, the women of South Africa still face glaring gender discrimination on the ground.

The gender aspect of service delivery has been conspicuously lacking in the public policy arena and the latest statistics show that there is a huge overweighting of black women in the lowest paid jobs, and gender is still a major issue in unemployment and rural poverty.

The Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) has, thus far, only benefited the elite few.

We therefore resolve:

  1. to use our political leverage to ensure that the needs of women in rural areas are prioritised by decision-makers;
  2. to exhort all IFP public representatives in all three spheres of government to fulfil their opposition oversight role by desegregating achievements and challenges in terms of gender in all public debates;
  3. to urge all three spheres of the government to make their tendering processes more user-friendly for women, in terms of the language and format utilised;
  4. to call on mothers to instil the virtues of self-help and self-reliance in their daughters and to motivate them to obtain as much education and training as their personal circumstances allow;
  5. to call upon the government to roll out Adult-Based Education and Training (ABET) focused on women’s needs in the deepest rural areas, utilising all available infrastructure such as schools, crèches and churches;
  6. to call upon the government to establish programmes that enable women to move from the informal to the formal economy, and to develop income-generating skills;
  7. to call upon the IFP Women’s Brigade leadership to establish a programme in which collectives of women apply for training, and, after assessment, women would linked up with training programmes;
  8. to call upon the government to recognise that a broad-based black ownership is vital, and that conflicts of interest must be avoided, and that the government should offer opportunities to companies which comply with the requirements of social transformation;
  9. to call upon the Economic spokespersons in the National Assembly, and the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Provincial Parliaments to design and unveil alternative models of BEE consortia, for example in the public parastatals, in line with IFP policy.

RESOLUTION 3: CORRUPTION

Conference notes that corruption leads to poorer public services, infrastructure and reduced spending on health and education, and thereby affects the women who depend on them.

Endemic corruption erodes public confidence in state institutions and undermines democracy and good governance.

We therefore resolve:

  1. to inculcate in our youth from the earliest age shared moral and cultural values, norms and beliefs;
  2. that IFP women in leadership positions adhere to a strict code of conduct in line of the IFP code of conduct;
  3. to call upon the government to demonstrate political will to eradicate the causes and effects of corruption at all levels of public service;
  4. to call upon the government to ensure that ‘whistle-blowers’ receive the protection they need from the state when they expose corruption.

RESOLUTION 4: VIOLENCE ON WOMEN

Conference laments that South Africa has the world’s highest incidence of rape and that domestic violence legislation introduced in 1998 has done little to reduce violence against women.

For too long, the women of Africa have had to endure senseless and heart-stopping fear of domestic violence and abuse.

We therefore resolve:

  1. that our country needs moral renewal which must be led primarily by the women in the family;
  2. to call upon the IFP Women’s Brigade leadership to establish programmes to educate and empower men to have positive attitudes towards women and their roles in society;
  3. to call upon our female Members in the National Assembly to table a Private Member’s Bill to give legislative expression to independent research on the causes and remedies of domestic violence;
  4. to call upon the women representatives of the IFP in the National Assembly, the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Provincial Parliaments, and the Pan African Parliament to design and implement an issue-based campaign to eliminate domestic violence, and to report back on the outcome of the campaign at the 2005 Women’s Brigade Conference.

RESOLUTION 5:  POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Conference notes that, in a participatory democracy, women are the best advocates of their own aspirations, needs and dreams.

We therefore resolve:

  1. to train our women leaders in people skills and conflict management, and equip them with communication and public conduct skills;
  2. to call upon the women leaders of the IFP to refrain from engaging in negative debates which undermine the unity of the Party, and learn to criticise each other in a constructive manner;
  3. to call upon the women of the IFP to become the ambassadors of the Party by crisply articulating the beliefs and principles of the Party in public, and to ensure that these are not misrepresented by our political opponents;
  4. to call upon the women representatives of the IFP in the National Assembly, the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Provincial Parliaments, and our women councillors to identify their constituencies on the basis of origin and expertise, and to design and implement, accordingly, issue-based campaigns to mobilise support for the IFP among women and to report back on the outcome of these initiatives at the 2005 IFP Women’s Brigade Conference.

RESOLUTION 6: INFORMATION

Conference notes that access to information and the development of the mind are the most powerful tools for the empowerment of women.

We therefore resolve:

  1. that programmes should be implemented to span the digital divide so that women have access to information superhighway so they can move into mainstream of the modern economy;
  2. the IFP Women’s Brigade must identify NGOs and government-sponsored computer literacy programmes to provide women with the most effective information sources available.

RESOLUTION 7: PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI

The IFP Women’s Brigade salutes the leadership of the highest calibre which His Excellency the President, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, provides to advance the role of women in our country.

The Women’s Brigade resolves to stand behind His Excellency’s constructive and moral leadership and wishes to request His Excellency to continue to lead the mothers and daughters of the IFP.