Annual General Conference 2007

30th ANNUAL CONFERENCE IFP WOMEN’S BRIGADE ON THE THEME

WOMEN AS SEASONED CHAMPIONS IN A CRISIS

EMANDLENI/MATLENG, ULUNDI : 9-11 NOVEMBER 2007

RESOLUTIONS

The Annual General Conference of the IFP Women’s Brigade met in Ulundi on November 9-11, 2007 and unanimously adopted the following:

RESOLUTION 1: WOMEN TAKING THE CENTRE STAGE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY

Conference:

  1. RECOGNISES that women make up the majority of the poorest-of-the-poor within South Africa;
  2. ACKNOWLEDGES the reality that empowering women will empower the nation and that the nation will not prosper if the development of women is neglected;
  3. REALISES that women must continue to help themselves and each other to battle the ravages of gender inequality, dispossession, discrimination and alienation from socio-economic resources;
  4. SUPPORTS efforts to mobilize women and strengthen women’s empowerment movements;
  5. CALLS for the IFP Women’s Brigade Executive Committee to seek an analysis of the efficacy to date of existing local, provincial and national programmes and policies purporting to have the objective of improving the quality and status of the lives of women and to report back all relevant data;
  6. REQUESTS the Minister of Finance to be far more gender specific in reporting in his national budget analyses how fiscal allocations will actually focus on the upliftment of women so that such intentions can be continually measured against actual service delivery;
  7. CONTINUES to urge public representatives to place a gender lens over policies and programmes claiming to provide service delivery to women;
  8. DEMANDS that women must be involved in all aspects of planning poverty relief programmes aimed at assisting them and their families and must be equally involved in their implementation.

RESOLUTION 2: WOMEN COMBATTING CRIME AND VIOLENCE THROUGHOUT SOUTH AFRICA AND ESPECIALLY VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN

Conference:

  1. CONDEMNS the fact that violence against women and children continues to escalate throughout South Africa and within our homes;
  2. BELIEVES that the terrible reality of domestic violence in our homes must now be spoken about openly and not hidden as a family “secret” and that abuse in all its forms must be exposed, as must be the culprits of that abuse;
  3. ACKNOWLEDGES that women and children continue to be the most vulnerable and socially excluded groups in our society;
  4. RECOGNIZES that women must help each other in their communities to address the issue and that they should continue to mount public awareness campaigns in this regard;
  5. REQUESTS that branches devise practical programmes to assist women and children affected by domestic violence and rape in our communities;
  6. IS ALARMED by reports of the Khulisa organization dealing with crime prevention, criminal justice and the rehabilitation of prisoners, that more than four million children become victims of crime in South Africa every year and that a total of 60 575 people between the ages of 14 and 25 are serving time in jail – more than 7 000 of them for serious sexual offences;
  7. CLEARLY IDENTIFIES the need for the voices of children to be heard in this regard and for crime prevention projects targeting youth;
  8. CALLS for men and boys to mobilize themselves in their communities against abuses of human rights and in support of women’s efforts in this regard;
  9. ENCOURAGES educational programmes aimed at our youth to develop positive role modeling and exposing gender-based violence for what it is: a crime against humanity;
  10. URGES women to focus on building efficient and effective working relationships with their local police stations to ensure that cases of violence against women and children are addressed;
  11. INSISTS that the South African Police Service enables citizens to more easily report cases of corruption and indolence at local police stations and insensitivity towards women and children whenever and wherever it occurs;
  12. DEMANDS that the South African Police Service provides regular statistics, investigation and conviction data relating to all violent crimes against women and children in all municipalities throughout the country;
  13. ASKS why Government has yet to prioritize the provision of places of safety/shelter for women and children so they can be protected from further violence;
  14. REQUESTS women to ensure that they are adequately represented in all community police forums so that issues of violence against women and children are taken seriously, that citizens stand up and speak out about crime and violence, and that trauma and other counseling is made more readily available for women and their families.

RESOLUTION 3: WOMEN COMBATING CORRUPTION AND ARROGANCE IN OUR PUBLIC SERVICE

Conference:

  1. NOTES that women are still under-represented in all aspects of public service and its leadership throughout South Africa;
  2. RECOGNISES that service delivery is hampered by corrupt practices and by the increasing indolence and arrogance of some civil servants;
  3. APPLAUDS civil servants who “go the extra mile” and who perform their duties with diligence and pride;
  4. CALLS for effective and transparent performance monitoring and evaluation of all levels of government service structures;
  5. FURTHER ENDORSES the resolution of the Annual General Conference of the party requesting that “hot lines” be established at all public places (police stations, hospitals, clinics, government offices etc.) linking citizens to call centres so that they can report any actions they reasonably believe to be unacceptable or wrong;
  6. URGES that public servants be required to wear names badges at all times;
  7. ACCEPTS that citizens must become involved in actively insisting that overall standards of public service improve if they wish to halt further and rapid deterioration in this regard.

RESOLUTION 4: WOMEN COMBATING HIV-AIDS

Conference:

  1. CONTINUES to deplore the fact that HIV-AIDS is ravaging homes and communities throughout South Africa;
  2. AGAIN RECOGNISES its devastating impact on men, women and children throughout our nation;
  3. NOTES the obvious turmoil in the Department of Health and its inability to curb this pandemic;
  4. REGRETS the failure of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) to produce the results required of such a body;
  5. BELIEVES there is too little understanding of gender issues related to HIV-AIDS including the vulnerability of women and the impact of poverty on the prevalence of HIV-AIDS infection;
  6. UNDERSTANDS that, ultimately, it is only effective educational programmes and radical changes in behavior practices which will help to bring a halt to this terrible scourge on us all;
  7. REQUESTS branches to establish HIV-AIDS “help desks” to assist persons and families in need of assistance and to continue to promote the benefits of general HIV-AIDS awareness, regular testing for HIV and STI’s and virginity testing;
  8. PLEADS that individuals and communities identify and assist child-headed families and AIDS orphans;
  9. URGES that parents must attempt to ensure that their children receive appropriate safe sex education which may ensure their survival;
  10. EXPRESSES its gratitude to all who continue to embrace and care for those affected and afflicted.

RESOLUTION 5: WOMEN TAKING A STAND TO ENSURE QUALITY EDUCATION FOR THEIR CHILDREN

Conference:

  1. NOTES the demise of the passion for teaching and learning in certain educational institutions throughout the nation which is exemplified by examination results and the appalling behaviour of many students;
  2. RECOGNISES that poverty plays a significant role in hampering the ability of students to study effectively and results in high “dropout” rates;
  3. BELIEVES that educators who produce excellent results should be more fully rewarded and applauded;
  4. REQUIRES education authorities to expose and crack down on falling standards in all education departments and places of learning requiring specific oversight;
  5. CONDEMNS parents who play no role in the governing bodies of their children’s schools, who expect teachers to double as parental role models and who fail to appropriately nurture and guide their children within their homes;
  6. ENCOURAGES after-hours mentoring of students by persons able to positively assist with various subject matters;
  7. DEPLORES escalating criminality in our schools and the alacrity of some teachers to desert classrooms for their own self-interest;
  8. RECOGNISES that educators are the bed rock upon which our nation will succeed or fail and that their status and positive contributions should be appropriately acknowledged throughout society;
  9. REMINDS learners that the pursuit of tertiary education comes with obligations and responsibilities;
  10. CALLS for career guidance counsellors to encourage learners to investigate the enormous benefits and possibilities in seeking technical and further education in various trade skills following their secondary schooling;
  11. REQUESTS parents and learners to embrace the need to see places of learning in our communities as vital focal points in our country’s quest to uplift us all from the ravages of apartheid and all forms of sexism and discrimination;
  12. RECALLS the enormous sacrifices made in past years to build and support community schools to ensure that disciplined black South Africans could stand as intellectually-empowered equals throughout the world – as history has shown they could do with distinction;
  13. PLEADS that parents and learners respect and do not squander the gift of education and that educators equally and vigorously respect the tenets of their calling.

RESOLUTION 6: WOMEN GETTING INVOLVED IN LAND OWNERSHIP PROGRAMMES AND SCHEMES

Conference:

  1. NOTES that poverty-alleviation programmes must assist women to access productive land and associated resources;
  2. INSISTS that women are not left behind in all government land redistribution programmes;
  3. CALLS for women to play a central role and have a collective voice in decision-making regarding land reform;
  4. QUESTIONS why the re-allocation of State-owned land to deserving citizens is taking such an inordinate amount of time;
  5. RECOGNISES that access to land will have a crucial ripple effect in the continuing empowerment of women and their families and will rapidly assist in the eradication of poverty;
  6. REQUESTS its public representatives to access all Government information relating to the precise Provincial localities of the planned provision of land to women and all proposed time frames in this regard.

RESOLUTION 7: WOMEN DEEPENING DEMOCRACY AND PREPARING FOR THE 2009 ELECTIONS

Conference:

  1. URGES members and supporters to begin planning, fund-raising and mobilizing for the 2009 general elections;
  2. ACKNOWLEDGES this forthcoming election as a critical milestone in South Africa’s developing democracy;
  3. PLEDGES renewed effort to ensure that the Province of KwaZulu Natal is returned to the leadership of the Inkatha Freedom Party;
  4. RECOGNISES that the majority of electoral support for the IFP comes from women;
  5. CALLS for intensified campaigns to ensure that citizens have ID documents and are registered to vote;
  6. REQUESTS branches to regularly inform leadership of their preparations starting now and including voter education and the identification and training of party election agents;
  7. HAS IDENTIFIED the need for the party’s election campaign to specifically target women voters and to provide platforms for the IFP to highlight policies and programmes aimed at improving the lives of women and their families;
  8. ENJOINS the National Executive Committee of the Women’s Brigade to monitor the Independent Electoral Commission so as to ensure that its operations are beyond party-political bias and favouritism in order to ensure truly free and fair elections.

RESOLUTION 8: WOMEN TEACHING SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND SELF-RELIANCE

Conference:

  1. AGAIN promotes the need for women and their families to embrace the long-held IFP belief that self-help and self-reliance is the bedrock upon which individuals can improve their lives;
  2. CALLS on members and supporters to exhibit leadership and to encourage communities to empower themselves in all manner of ways including growing nutritious vegetables, encouraging traditional building methods, forming diverse cooperatives and clubs in which bulk buying reduces food expenditure, assisting with child care, helping the aged and infirm and monitoring local council meetings and the performance of elected officials;
  3. URGES community partnerships to engage in problem solving and in identifying obstacles to self-help and self-reliance in their immediate environments which inhibit capacity building;
  4. EXHORTS the need for province-led rural development;
  5. REQUESTS municipalities to target women entrepreneurs in their procurement policies and skills development training programmes;
  6. CALLS on members and supporters to identify all barriers they encounter in attempting to uplift themselves and their communities; to actively discuss these issues at branch meetings and report relevant issues to leadership.

RESOLUTION 9: IFP WOMEN REACHING OUT TO NEW CONSTITUENCIES

Conference:

  1. BELIEVES that like all other political parties, the IFP must continually seek new constituencies in which members can actively campaign and promote the policies of the party;
  2. CALLS on members and supporters to reflect the reality of the party being a political home for all South Africans;
  3. URGES debate within the party as to how best national and provincial leaderships can motivate and encourage new membership from diverse communities;
  4. REQUESTS promotional party material in all of South Africa’s languages be produced to assist party outreach;
  5. ENCOURAGES citizens to recognize the crucial relevance of the IFP in South Africa’s body politic; the quality of its leadership; the integrity of its policies and its continued commitment to decency and vibrant multi-party democracy.

RESOLUTION 10: IFP WOMEN MOBILISING THE “RESPECT FOR ALL” CAMPAIGN

Conference:

  1. NOTES the manner in which healthy human interaction in South African society is deteriorating;
  2. ACCEPTS that if this lack of respect becomes a way of life, then nation building will become impossible and social cohesion will crumble;
  3. EXPRESSES ITS GRAVE CONCERN at the way in which citizens in general and youth in particular are not practicing the precepts of Ubunto/Botho;
  4. ACKNOWLEDGES that it is the role of parents and women in particular to teach respectful attitudes to their children and to demand respectful behaviour in their homes, neighbourhoods and elsewhere;
  5. CALLS for women to work together in their neighbourhoods, suburbs, townships and places of work to insist and ensure — using strength in numbers and unity in action — that unruly and disrespectful behaviour is not tolerated anywhere or at any time;
  6. RESOLVES that women must mobilise the “Respect For All” campaign by constructively engaging their local South African Police Service, religious leaders, places of learning and all manner of civil society organizations to ensure that good citizenship is taught and becomes a way of life.

RESOLUTION 11: WOMEN LEADING THE CAMPAIGN FOR EQUAL PAY AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Conference:

  1. NOTES that even in our democratic constitutional order where emphasis is placed on equality and non-discrimination, women suffer discrimination in that equal pay for equal work is a dream and not a reality and that women continue not to be equally represented in top management positions in all employment sectors and that the concept of “merit” is not equally recognised;
  2. RECOGNISES research which indicates that in South Africa men get paid between 70 and 25 percent more than women — based on mean hourly earnings– and far from narrowing, this pay gap is increasing in some sectors and geographical regions;
  3. REFERS to the IFP’s outstanding record in the former KwaZulu Government which actively empowered women and ensured that apartheid and colonial laws which discriminated against women were repealed;
  4. RECOMMENDS that female employees continuously and objectively determine whether they are getting a fair deal in their workplaces and establish constructive relationships with their employers, unions and other representative and relevant bodies to ensure factual evidence is factored into decision-making regarding salary structures and related benefits;
  5. REMINDS employers that the best employees are happy employees;
  6. ACKNOWLEGES that the party must more actively tackle issues relating to unequal pay for women and employment discrimination against women through advocacy at national parliamentary level and in provincial and local government and in the mass media;
  7. REALISES that for this issue to be effectively addressed, that gender stereotypes must be rejected, gender equality taught in our homes and schools and that girls must be encouraged to excel in science, mathematics, computer studies, mechanical engineering and in all other subjects long considered the dominion of boys.

RESOLUTION 12: ANTI-IFP SABC BIAS

Conference:

  1. PLACES ON RECORD its view that the SABC is reverting to that of a State broadcaster and can no longer claim to be a so-called “public broadcaster”;
  2. EXPRESSES ITS CONCERN at the manner in which news and information relating to the IFP and its leadership is virtually ignored by the SABC;
  3. NOTES the obvious political interference in the recent selection of the SABC Board by the leadership of the ANC beyond Parliament’s Communications Committee;
  4. CALLS on the Regulator- The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa — to instigate ongoing research into all SABC coverage of South African political parties and to regularly report on the way in which all political news, information and comment is currently covered by the broadcaster;
  5. REQUESTS its public representatives to also constantly monitor all SABC political coverage and to consistently notify the Board and Management of the SABC of any reasonable observation of its dereliction of duty to meet its public service mandate as defined in law and its own SABC Code of Conduct;
  6. CALLS for vigilance as a matter of urgency in that continuing and deliberate bias by the SABC towards the ANC will further impact on the democratic process and will skew the forthcoming 2009 multi-party electoral campaigns and outcome.

RESOLUTION 13: THE IFP WOMEN’S BRIGADE CONGRATULATES ITS NEW CHAIRPERSON

Conference:

  1. CONGRATULATES CLLR THEMBI NZUZA on her election as National Chairperson of the Women’s Brigade and wishes her well in her future endeavours on behalf of us all and the women of South Africa;
  2. PLEDGES her our unconditional support as she leads us in our quest to right the many wrongs in our land and in particular to face head-on, as we all must, the many challenges still facing women as they continue to seek gender equality, human security and a genuine culture of human rights.

RESOLUTION 14: IFP WOMEN THANK THEIR PARTY PRESIDENT

Conference:

  1. APPLAUDS the exemplary leadership of its President, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi;
  2. THANKS him for the tireless manner in which he continues to work for us all with such wisdom and dedication;
  3. NOTES with pride the track-record of our President in campaigning for the promotion of the rights of women in South African society;
  4. OFFERS him our deepest respect, gratitude and support.