Ikhwezi Political Movement based in Plettenberg Bay which was established in April this year says it is not an organisation for women only.
Cape Town: In a boost for woman-power, a newly formed political party has handed in an all women candidates list for the upcoming local government elections.
Nokuzola Kolwapi, leader of the newly-formed Ikhwezi Political Movement, said having an all-women leadership was not planned, but they always knew the mayoral candidate had to be a woman.
“This also surprised us as our ward branches who chose ward candidates handed in an all women candidate list,” she said.
Kolwapi said she found it highly unfair that people were questioning why the Ikhwezi Political Movement was led by women only, because no one ever questioned why only men served on many public and private sector bodies.
Kolwapi said her party aimed to give voters an alternative to the bigger political parties. She said the big parties had lost touch with people on the ground and their needs at local government level.
“Now is the time for local parties that will be interested in fixing local issues,” she said, adding that the national parties did not grasp the local issues faced by voters. Her party wants to be “that voice for the voiceless”.
“Furthermore, we are tired of townships being seen as pockets of poverty. It is time that real investment is allocated to townships in order to revitalise township economies to become pockets of prosperity“.
She said the party wanted to promote economic development for the benefit of all, especially the marginalised, and attract investment that will ensure job creation.
Other focus areas included supporting and promoting tourism within township economies, social justice, ,elimination of the vast social and economic inequalities, and support and advance the fight against gender-based violence.
Kolwapi said their membership was well over a thousand and they were getting new members joining them on a daily basis.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive especially from the youth and women,” she said.
University of Stellenbosch’s Amanda Gouws said the thought of a women only candidate list was amazing, as it meant that women now wanted to enter politics on their own terms, and not compete with men.
She said these women probably knew what the needs of other women in communities were, and it would be interesting to see how much support they get.
Gouws said there was a need for women candidates who wanted to make a difference when it came to gender responsive policies.
“The country is ready for the right woman, it should not be someone who is part of a political faction or who does the men’s bidding for them,” added Gouws.