Feminism to drive Makhosi Khoza’s new party

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Karabo Ngoepe

JOHANNESBURG- Former African National Congress (ANC) and Member of Parliament Dr Makhosi Khoza has identified feminism as one of the key pillars to drive her newly launched political party the African Democratic Change (ADeC).

Khoza said the formation will be unapologetic in pushing women’s agenda’s in South Africa, something that is currently missing.

“This party is dominated by feminists and that is another important thing that people must understand. This is a party that is actually dominated by feminists. There is no single party that we see as having a feminist philosophy. We are probably going to be the only party that is coming out in the open and saying we are feminists and we are putting women first,” she said.

Khoza added that everything the party does would be centred around improving the lively hoods of women. She said the current government was failing to take into account the needs and circumstances of women in policies and budgets that get tabled.

Women-oriented budget

“Whether it’s a budget, it has to be gender-based. We want to make it a statutory obligation that you must have a gender-based budget. The gender-based budget says whenever you look at a budget, you must look at how is it affecting women. If you look are going to be taking a decision on how you are going to be prioritising your budget, is it addressing the plight of women as the modes of transport in rural areas? We are also thinking about a number of policies that are affecting women, the whole thing that whenever there has to be someone at home looking after the children it is a woman but we want it to be recognised that a man can do that as well,” she said.

The newly launched party will be contesting the 2019 general elections with hopes of capitalising on the voters who stayed away from the polls during the 2016 municipal elections. Among other policy ideas and adoptions will be the issue of land which has become a topical issue in the country. Khoza said the perception of land ownership in the country needs to change and more women need to be landowners instead of the title deeds belonging to men.

Women must own land

“The land question, if you are going to be addressing it, you must remember we are coming from a very patriarchal history. Patriarchy did not come with colonialism. We were a patriarchal society before colonialism and if you address the land question without factoring the gender question that means the title deed holders will be men and not women. These are the kinds of issues we are talking about,” she said.

Khoza also indicated that the party would be targeting employers and forcing them to put in place measures that will protect the women that work for them. She said the retail sector was one that had to be attended to as a matter of urgency.

“There are women working for Shoprite or Woolworths and they knock off late at night and some of them are becoming rape victims because there is no transportation that is organised for them so they can get home safely. There is so much that women are going through at the moment that nobody is really taking care of and we want to be those champions of women and children’s rights,” she said.

Khoza said the party was born out of conversations with numerous structures and South Africans calling for a different voice. She said they identified a gap created by voter apathy following the 2016 municipal elections. She said millions of South Africans don’t relate with the current political parties.

Social Cohesion

She said they want to be a political home for all South Africans, irrespective of colour, gender or religion. Khoza said the current political parties have defined themselves along race and class, in the process, they have alienated others from joining their ranks, something they want to change.

“For us, social cohesion is very important going forward. If you look at the DA, it’s not able to attract and convince the black voters that they can belong there as a home. If you look at the ANC on the other extreme, they are no longer able to attract the typical Indian, White or Coloured voters. The ANC has essentially lost its non-racial character. The EFF obviously they don’t have white people and they are very clear about that. We need a party that will be reflective of our demographics and also build on the Madiba magic of 1994 of building a non-racial and sexist South Africa,” she said.