31st ANNUAL CONFERENCE IFP WOMEN’S BRIGADE ON THE THEME
“VOICING VALUES – THE IFP’S WOMEN OF INTEGRITY“
EMANDLENI/MATLENG, ULUNDI: 10-12 OCTOBER 2008
The Annual General Conference of the IFP Women’s Brigade met in Ulundi on October 10 – 12, 2008 and unanimously adopted the following:
RESOLUTION 1: THE VALUES THAT WOMEN IN THE IFP SUPPORT AND ASPIRE TO MOTIVATE IN OTHERS THROUGH EXAMPLE
That the IFP exists as a political party to serve the people of South Africa and to do so in the spirit of ubuntu/botho. We acknowledge that we contest elections and we seek power in order to serve the people by addressing their needs and by doing so better than anyone else.
Furthermore, we firmly believe that the behaviour of our leadership and membership must be exemplary and that a life in politics dedicated to service cannot be compatible with personal agendas, a sense of individual superiority and self-enrichment.
That the following values, for the most part, lie at the heart of the IFP’s outreach to the citizens of our land and in all that we do as “THE IFP WORKING FOR YOU IN YOUR COMMUNITY”:
- POLITICAL RELEVANCE;
- GENDER EQUALITY;
- FREEDOM AND UNITY IN DIVERSITY;
- SELF-HELP AND SELF-RELIANCE;
- EDUCATION FOR LIBERATION FROM UNEMPLOYMENT, IGNORANCE AND
- RESPECT FOR OURSELVES AND OTHERS;
- THE PROMOTION OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE BEFORE MARRIAGE AND
- FAITHFULLNESS TO ONE’S PARTNERS;
- LOVE OF OUR COUNTRY AND ALL ITS PEOPLE.
RESOLUTION 2: THE 2009 ELECTIONS: THE IFP WOMEN’S BRIGADE MOBILISING FOR VICTORY AND ENSURING THAT SOUTH AFRICA DOES NOT BECOME A ONE-PARTY STATE
That South Africa, after nearly 15 years of rule by the ANC Alliance, is in a state of political turmoil and gripped by social and economic instability. The divide between the rich and poor is rapidly widening.
We recognize that the lives of many millions of citizens are socially and economically crippled by non-delivery of basic services, corruption, criminality, official mismanagement, abject poverty, lack of education and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Furthermore, that the ANC Alliance has promoted nepotism and cronyism. It has obscenely enriched itself and certain of its members through its linkages to State resources and “empowerment” contracts thereby ensuring that our political “playing fields” are dangerously and undemocratically skewed – especially during elections.
- That in working hard now to achieve electoral success in the 2009 elections, the women of the IFP will not be deterred by a lack of resources and by the manner in which the ANC Alliance flouts its campaign fiscal fortunes;
- That we are determined that South Africa will not be turned into a one-party State by the ANC Alliance continually using its manipulation of the levers of State power and party-patronage to entrench itself and that we are equally determined that this rot must be stopped NOW;
- That our membership will become visible and audible throughout our country’s grass roots communities and that our message, our vision and our values, will be honest and well articulated;
- That our talk will not be of false promises but of our party’s policy programmes designed to tackle the real challenges facing ordinary citizens and the plight of the poor;
- That we will make it clear that the IFP is an independent party that will never compromise its core values for which we have fought (and for which many have died) since our inception in 1975. We will put a stop to the distortions and deliberately fuelled confusions of a so-called ANC-IFP merger which will never, ever, happen. For us democracy means “freedom to choose” and by inference a strong multi-party democracy. We will not allow the ANC to rule South Africa until — as they claim they will — “Jesus comes”;
- That the grip of the ANC on the majority of Provinces throughout South Africa must be broken by us mobilizing voters and that the women of the IFP will form a major part of new post-election leadership championing workable social and economic policies and reforms.
RESOLUTION 3: THE MORAL CHALLENGES FACING WOMEN AND YOUTH IN SOUTH AFRICA
There is evidence of a shameful lack of morality in South Africa and that this must be recognized and more openly debated. Furthermore, this moral crisis is a reality which transcends race, colour and creed.
Fear, violence, crime, greed and corruption permeate our society.
Brutal evidence of sexual violence against women and children and all manner of other deviant behaviour litter our court records. Corporate price-fixing on basic food commodities deliberately and cynically hammer the poor to benefit the rich. Pension funds are looted. Billions of rands are stolen and/or misappropriated by civil servants and homes and places of work are besieged by criminals on a daily basis. It is a fact, as is stated by many, that “a culture of lawlessness is rampant in our society” and that citizens feel neither safe nor secure in their homes, places of work and in public spaces.
- To encourage a groundswell of support encouraging citizens to actively work to make South Africa a better place: not to tolerate all manner of multi-faceted criminal behaviour and to courageously expose all manner of wrongful practices wherever and whenever they can;
- To believe as a party and as individual members that the good
- people of South Africa can make good things happen and that good can triumph over evil;
- To underpin all that we do on the foundation of creating a society based on strong families and strong communities.
RESOLUTION 4: IFP WOMEN WORKING TO BRING AN END TO ALL FORMS OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
A recent Index on African Governance places South Africa as one of the least safe places in Africa. An international rights group, Plan International, has named and shamed South Africa in a damning report detailing school violence statistics around the world. Furthermore, the South African Medical Research Council records that South African men have been ranked among the most violent in the world.
- To attempt to mobilize South African women to further encourage the majority of men of moral honesty and undoubted integrity in our land to assist in the inevitable long haul of trying to create circumstances in which men are deflected from becoming perpetrators of violence (and often victims in other ways);
- To form partnerships with men to address this issue as to date public and citizens responses, although well meaning, have been inadequate and have not produced the required results;
- To salute those men who have already publicly committed themselves to this cause including mobilization in this regard;
- To accept that good family structures are crucial to this effort – which forms the basis of IFP policy – but to further recognize the actual dysfunction which permeates our society for many historical and other reasons;
- To focus on the causes of abuse — as identified by academics and others — which most often translates into gender-based violence: the absence of male role models; exposure to childhood abuse; poor education and lack of vocational skills; a lack of religious and spiritual beliefs; overcrowded housing; no sense of community; no exposure to appropriate recreation facilities and so on;
- To state that poverty may well be the root of much crime but to dispute, for many reasons, that gender-based violence has its roots in poverty — wealthy people also abuse women and children;
- To reinforce the fact that there is not one “culture” within the rich and diverse mix of South African society which advocates discrimination against women — or any cause to harm women – and that therefore traditional, religious and cultural leadership must play an ongoing crucial role in assisting in addressing this dreadful and destructive phenomena in our midst;
- To urge our public representatives to continue to agitate for proper law enforcement and appropriate budgeting for resources to implement all manner of much-needed and multi-faceted interventions in this regard.
RESOLUTION 5: IFP WOMEN WAGING WAR AGAINST POVERTY AND INEQUALITY
The familiar and accurate refrain that women in South Africa are the poorest of the poor continues unabated. The current global economic crisis is undoubtedly going to badly affect the women of Africa in general. Black women, in particular, continue to be the most affected and it is Black women who are the majority bread winners and care-givers in many of our homes. While acknowledging poverty wherever it exists throughout our communities, we recognize that it is Black women who are bearing the burden of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and it is Black women, for the most part, who are caring for our HIV/AIDS orphans.
- That the IFP must be a voice of real hope for these women and that we must show them that we do have strategies and programmes which, if implemented, will ease their plight;
- That our IFP mantra that self-help and self-reliance is the key to survival and establishing socio-economic stability must be demonstrated by us not only in words but in deeds: IFP women must continue to identify and to become involved in new programmes and projects which have proved themselves to be successful and capable of replication in various urban and rural environments;
- That IFP leadership must identify areas where self-help and self-reliance projects are required and can be organized as this will be a critical short-term intervention to alleviate the crushing poverty our country’s lack of socio-economic development and focus on assistance for women has produced;
- That the current reliance by more than 12 million South Africans on social grants clearly assists the poorest of the poor but is nevertheless not a long-term solution to alleviating and eradicating poverty;
- That reducing unemployment has long been identified by the IFP as critical and furthermore that education is the only way in which this can be achieved: women, men and youth must be actively enabled to enter the labour market.
RESOLUTION 6: IFP WOMEN AT THE CENTRE OF NEW POLITICAL DEBATES IN SOUTH AFRICA: OUR MESSAGE TO FELLOW SOUTH AFRICANS
A review by the ANC-led Government of South Africa released recently by the Presidency had admitted that public trust in state institutions is declining. It is even acknowledged that the legitimacy of public institutions is at its lowest point since 1999 and that delivery weaknesses on the side of government departments and municipalities have contributed to the public’s negative perceptions of these institutions.
- To continue to encourage women to start talking about politics and to bring the debate about the many deep-seated challenges in our society into our homes, our churches, in taxis, in shops, markets and on the soil being tilled;
- To seek platforms where citizens must be encouraged to identify and expose lack of service delivery, ineptitude and all manner of public and private sector corruption and mismanagement and thereafter ensure that these concerns are voiced to the widest possible audiences;
- To explain and debate how the values of the IFP have been specifically formulated to address these weaknesses and, crucially, that the IFP is the only non-racial predominately black party with the long term potential of governing South Africa;
- To promote understanding that the IFP is, in fact, the only real alternative to ANC-led government. It is only the IFP which can restore public trust and halt the country’s slide into one-party ANC rule because the IFP has long shown that it is unified, courageous and committed to serving South Africa.
RESOLUTION 7: THE CRISIS IN EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA: IFP WOMEN FACING EXISTING CHALLENGES AND PROPOSING SOLUTIONS
In spite of a relatively large budget, shortcomings throughout our education departments continue to hamper progress. New ANC policies, year after year, have not produced results. Numeracy and literacy skills among the majority of South Africa’s learners are unacceptably low. A Presidential report released recently has conceded that, overall ” the education system performs poorly. outputs are weak.” Education in South Africa is not preparing learners for our job markets and is not alleviating our skills shortage. It is clear that the country lacks a majority of highly qualified, well paid and highly motivated educators.
- To reinforce the belief of the President of the IFP that “the policies of today form the people of tomorrow” and that education is at the core of all of the IFP’s policies and programmes;
- To once again state that an IFP-led Government would immediately devolve policy-making to provinces allowing them to formulate their own education policies suitable to their diverse needs;
- To promote community engagement as crucial to bettering our system of education and constructive parent, teacher, learner interaction
- To continue to advocate that all barriers to learning must be removed and that therefore the impact of poverty and inequality must urgently be addressed. Education should be free up to and including Grade 12 and tertiary education must be made far more affordable;
- To call for the reintroduction of well-resourced teacher training colleges and for specific bursaries targeting subjects such as maths and science;
- To insist that the numbers and quality of teachers in rural areas be prioritized;
- To advocate the reintroduction of school inspectors;
- To urge educators and parents to insist that a culture of accountability throughout the system must be instigated at educator and management levels;
- To revisit laws which are lenient with regard to anti-social behaviour of both educators and learners.
RESOLUTION 8: IFP WOMEN WORKING FOR LAW AND ORDER IN OUR COMMUNITIES AND COMBATTING SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND OTHER DEVIANT BEHAVIOUR IN OUR SCHOOLS
Three children between the ages of nine and 11 have appeared in a Western Cape Magistrates Court on charges of raping a 10-year-old girl and that Rape Crisis has described such cases as an “increasing phenomenon” throughout the country. Further notes that violent behaviour in all of its forms has become endemic in our homes, schools and public places. Experts are now reporting an increase in schools requiring assistance to deal with sexual misconduct and acts of violence.
- To promote appropriate sex education in our homes so that children are taught the difference between acceptable and inappropriate behaviour;
- To accept the shocking reality that parental neglect and abuse is cited as a cause of this behaviour which suggests (as is being reported) that there is something fundamentally wrong within our society and behind the closed doors of many of our homes;
- To initiate widespread debate about this issue;
- To record that it is now common cause that the criminal justice system throughout South Africa is failing its citizens and that all forms of criminality – from youths to adults – is rapidly increasing;
- To support new, tougher and specifically targeted localized interventions in this regard.
RESOLUTION 9: IFP WOMEN CONTINUING TO ADVOCATE FOR BETTER HEALTH CARE AND FOR SOLUTIONS TO COMBAT HIV/AIDS INFECTION WHILE ALSO OFFERING COMFORT TO ALL AFFECTED BY THE PANDEMIC
International and national agencies and organisations have condemned South Africa’s current health system as “callous, incompetent and criminally negligent”. The IFP therefore welcomes the appointment of our new national Health Minister, Ms Barbara Hogan, and wishes her well in her endeavours.
- To insist that health ombudspersons are urgently needed to monitor strict systems of standards compliance in all health facilities;
- To call on the Health Professions Council of South Africa and the Nursing Council to institute immediate investigations into the alleged unprofessional behaviour of the staff of hospitals and clinics highlighted in various surveys and to hold these persons accountable if needs be;
- To request our public representatives to call on Minister Hogan to review our current highly centralized health system and to introduce changes that will build local capacity, maximize partnerships with the private sector and ensure rapid and focused accountability;
- To state that an IFP-led Government would declare HIV/AIDS a national crisis and would rapidly increase the availability of ARV’s together with coherent and relevant information relating to appropriate nutrition and lifestyle choices;
- To support Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) to de-stigmatise HIV/AIDS and to further support the economic rights of people living with HIV/AIDS to enable the provision of chronic illness grants;
- To continue to advocate that abstinence, delayed sexual debut, fidelity and condom use are the most effective means of preventing infection;
- To repeat previous IFP AGC resolutions which demand that all IFP Councillors must ensure that all issues relating to HIV/AIDS in relation to community needs are permanent agenda items at all Council meetings and that special focus must be given to HIV/AIDS orphans;
- To investigate whether all branches have established HIV/AIDS support groups as required by the Party;
- To once again express our gratitude to all who continue to embrace and care for those affected and afflicted.
RESOLUTION 10: IFP WOMEN SPEAKING OUT AGAINST INCENDIARY POLITICAL LANGUAGE AND CALLING FOR DISCIPLINE, HONESTY AND INTEGRITY IN POLITICAL DISCOURSE
That the leaders of the ANC Youth League have publicly claimed that its members will “smash” and “crush” its political opponents; that the League will “kill” for those it supports and has seen fit to launch unprecedented and vicious attacks on our judiciary and its own political leaders.
- To once again plead that respect for human life, human dignity and the right to security are fundamental rights which should be enjoyed by all of our citizens;
- To deplore the un-African rantings by juveniles against adult persons of rank and consequence in our society;
- To respectfully request that such behaviour and attitudes be admonished by the leadership of the ANC Alliance and that the public be assured that such incendiary language will cease forthwith;
- To ask all political parties contesting the 2009 elections to be cognizant of the socio-economic turmoil within our society and to realize that in this potentially dangerous cauldron, inappropriate actions can provoke inappropriate, life-threatening and destructive reactions.
RESOLUTION 11: EXPOSING CORRUPTION AND MISMANAGEMENT: IFP WOMEN CALLING FOR A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THE SO-CALLED ARMS DEAL AND FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION TO BE TAKEN REGARDING THE CONTINUOUS MISUSE OF STATE RESOURCES
That the rank stink of alleged corruption surrounding the so-called “arms deal” will not go away and nor will numerous other allegations involving the Land Bank and other instances of reported and widespread misuse and abuse of State resources.
- To support the call of the President of the IFP for an urgent Judicial Commission of Inquiry to be held into all aspects of the acquisition of the armaments in question;
- To further call for transparent and public enquiries to be initiated into the billions of rands of State funds which are reported via the Auditor General and in other investigations to have been misappropriated and in some instances boldly stolen.
RESOLUTION 12: CHILD SUPPORT GRANTS: IFP WOMEN AS ADVOCATES OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
The continued proliferation of the ANC’s propaganda which depicts the IFP as a political party opposed to child support grants on ideological grounds, and welcoming the IFP Western Cape study which concluded that it costs R878.61 to take care of a child and that the present child support grant of R210 is woefully inadequate.
- to state unequivocally that the IFP has always been in favour of child support grants arguing that our Constitution guarantees every individual’s right to social security and appropriate social assistance;
- to recognise that, in spite of the IFP’s lifelong advocacy of self-help and self-reliance, there are tangible limits to these virtues as far as certain categories of citizens are concerned;
- to commit the IFP to a cogent welfare policy that stipulates that social grants be targeted, means-tested and properly monitored;
- to pursue a substantial increase in welfare benefits for all who qualify for them based on the belief that appropriate social assistance means just that: social support grants need to be continually and more flexibly re-evaluated on the basis of need amid changing economic and personal circumstances;
- to call for the child support grant to be raised accordingly to R878.61 per month;
- to advocate the systematic inclusion of new categories of potential welfare recipients, such as Aids orphans and children who head households, many of whom have hitherto been excluded due to the ruling party’s wholesale denial of the HIV/Aids crisis; and
- to encourage all eligible recipients of welfare grants to get registered with the Department of Social Development.
RESOLUTION 13: HOW IFP WOMEN CAN PROPERLY SALUTE THEIR PRESIDENT, PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI, IN WORD AND DEED
This Resolution, at the culmination of our Conference, is expressed with profound love and respect. The women of the IFP believe that it is incumbent on all IFP leaders, members and supporters to approach the forthcoming 2009 elections as a united and committed team dedicated to wholeheartedly supporting IFP leadership at all times and in special tribute to our President.
- To thank our President, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, for his many decades of selfless dedication to us and the citizens of South Africa by working hard to attempt to achieve electoral success for the IFP;
- To honour him and to show our gratitude by acting at all times as he has advocated: with solidarity, honour, integrity and energy.