28th ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE of the IFP WOMEN’S BRIGADE
Umlazi: January 28, 2006
The National Conference of the IFP Women’s Brigade met in Umlazi on January 28, 2006 and unanimously adopted the following Resolutions:
- Welcomes the forthcoming Local Government Elections on March 1,2006 as yet another milestone in the democratization of our country;
- Urges all registered voters to exercise their right to freely vote for the candidates and parties of their choice;
- Requires all IFP Party Agents to protect voters’ rights and to exercise vigilance in ensuring that voters are not hindered in any way as they cast their votes and that every vote is properly recorded;
- Emphasizes the critical importance of local government in the lives of our people and the need to elect candidates of calibre who will work hard and serve citizens with honesty and integrity;
- Thanks the women and men of the IFP who have, to date, diligently served as Councillors in the best interests of their communities and who have fully and fairly utilized all the resources available to them;
- Salutes the work of numerous community action groups who positively mobilize around issues which concern them;
- Acknowledges the ongoing reality and tragedy of the non-delivery of basic and other services to many of our citizens and the now desperate need for appropriate funding and effective programmes of action.
- Supports the honest contention of the IFP that all local governments need to get the basics right first by delivering essential services such as water, electricity, roads, sanitation and the efficient provision of grants and must not promise what they cannot deliver;
- Believes that these elections do indeed provide an opportunity for the people of South Africa to make a fresh start and to elect a new breed of political leaders who really care about their communities.
- Commits the women of the IFP to ensuring that all IFP Local Government Councillors will remain faithful to their Pledge of Service and Delivery in all communities;
- Instructs the leadership of the Women’s Brigade to establish a permanent Monitoring Committee to ensure that IFP Councillors abide by their Pledge and specifically that they consider and incorporate, when appropriate, gender perspectives in all community planning initiatives;
- Requests this Committee to act as a vehicle for the women of the IFP and all other concerned citizens to identify and communicate all relevant issues and suggestions relating to Local Government delivery to appropriate Councillors;
- Notes that it is envisaged that when allegations of corruption are levelled against Councillors to members of the Women’s Brigade and if they are reported to them in writing, this Committee will immediately report all communication in this regard to the IFPs Political Oversight Committee,
P O Box 4432, Durban 4000. All written allegations of corruption should
addressed directly to the Political Oversight Committee;
- Recommends that reports of the Monitoring Committee are submitted on a monthly basis to the executive leadership of the Party.
- Once again notes the inextricable link between the developmental needs of women and good governance;
- Reiterates that the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women is critical to the future positive growth and stability of South Africa;
- Applauds the leadership of the IFP for its long-held understanding that by including women in positions of leadership, their rightful participation in the development of the country is enhanced;
- Congratulates the women and men of the IFP who have made themselves available and who have been selected to serve as Councillors in our communities;
- Calls for direct community involvement in the planning and delivery of all programmes in all areas and that the views of women be actively canvassed at all times and as a matter of IFP policy.
- Believes that the leadership of the IFP has an obligation to fully support and, where necessary, constructively assist and guide the women and men elected as Local Government Councillors on our behalf;
- Requests that special attention be given by leadership to the ongoing performance of all IFP Councillors and that problems of any kind which may be affecting their work be swiftly addressed;
- Accepts that the legacy of apartheid has ensured that not all Councillors soon to be elected or re-elected have, in some instances, the ability to fully cope, from time to time, with certain of their complex responsibilities;
- Calls on all Parties to reinforce their Councillors by whatever means necessary and required and to ensure ongoing capacity-building throughout Local Government structures;
- Requests the women of the IFP to encourage their sisters in office and to do all they can to assist them perform their duties to the best of their ability and with the knowledge that they can depend on our love and positive assistance at all times.
- Continues to motivate for the establishment of resourced nation-wide networks to enable women from all walks of life to be elected to public office and to participate equally alongside their male counterparts;
- Recognises the need for ongoing leadership-oriented training in support of women’s political participation and women candidates;
- Observes that the print and electronic media do not sufficiently highlight the work of women in public office at all levels and the barriers they face.
- Regrets that women’s organizations, religious bodies, NGOs, trade unions and other groupings in general have failed of late to come together in common cause and, as one, address critical issues affecting the lives and women and their children throughout South Africa;
- Believes it is time that like-minded citizens, irrespective of party-political affiliation or bias, if relevant, mobilize around these issues and work together to attempt to effectively address and alleviate the appalling and ongoing suffering of families and communities to which we are all currently witness;
- Urges members and supporters of such groups and any other congregation wishing to participate to consider such a national initiative;
- Encourages the leadership of the Women’s Brigade to attempt to assist in the establishment of such an issue-based movement and to identify obstacles, if any, to the accomplishment of this endeavour;
- Applauds the outstanding work being done by many individual activists and groups in attempting to address, in multi-faceted ways, the sickening rape and violent abuse of huge numbers of women and children, complex matters relating to the tragedy of the HIV / AIDS pandemic, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and all manner of other social abnormalities and poverty-related realities affecting our homes and communities;
- Particularly highlights the need, too, for national consensus, problem-solving initiatives and action relating to the urgent assistance required for the growing numbers of child-headed households throughout the country.
- Makes special reference to the plight of rural and elderly women and specifically urges that the needs of these women be more fully prioritized by Local Governments;
- Recognises that the majority of rural women and the aged are the ongoing victims of the cruelty and injustice wreaked by apartheid;
- Instructs IFP Councillors to report to the leadership of the Women ‘s Brigade as to how they intend to include these women in all decision-making affecting the areas in which they live and to specify if they need assistance in this regard so as to avoid any delays in establishing avenues of communication with these women.
- Requests its Members of Parliament in the National Assembly to call for a comprehensive national review and evaluation of all laws and policies relating to women and children and further;
- To constantly demand that the Minister of Safety and Security provide all available and recent data relating to the rape of women and children and criminal activity throughout South Africa in general;
- Condemns attempts by the ANC Government to hide statistics of this
nature from the citizens of this country.
- Again records its gratitude for the continued contribution the President of the IFP, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, makes in assisting the women of South Africa in their struggle against gender bias;
- Cherishes his tireless efforts as a champion of the rights of women in opposing all forms of discrimination and supporting the liberation of women from the burdens of poverty, ill-health and lack of access to educational opportunities;
- Thanks him for the hope and encouragement he gives us all and for his message of “self-help and self-reliance” which has been a means of survival for so many of us and which is as relevant today as it was many decades ago;
- Calls on all Party structures to honour his example by continuing to support initiatives which uphold his credo of “self-help and self-reliance” while promoting a culture of gender equality.