New political party has a list of women candidates for the next local elections
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Cape Town: In a push for women’s power, a newly formed political party has handed out a list of candidates only to women for the upcoming local elections.
Nokuzola Kolwapi, leader of the brand new Ikhwezi Political Movement, said there were no plans to have all-female leadership, but they always knew that the mayoral candidate had to be a woman.
“It surprised us as well, as our ward branches that chose ward candidates handed in a list of all-female candidates,” she said.
Kolwapi said she found it very unfair for people to wonder why the Ikhwezi political movement was led only by women, because no one ever asked why only men sit on many bodies in the public and private sectors.
Kolwapi said his party aims to give voters an alternative to major political parties. She said the major parties had lost touch with the people on the ground and their needs at the local government level.
“The time has come for local parties who will be interested in solving local problems,” she said, adding that national parties had failed to grasp the local problems faced by voters. His party wants to be “that voice for the voiceless”.
“Moreover, we are fed up with townships being seen as pockets of poverty. It is time for real investments to be allocated to the townships in order to revitalize the economies of the townships into pockets of prosperity ”.
She said the party wants to promote economic development for the benefit of all, especially marginalized people, and attract investments that will ensure job creation.
Other areas of intervention included supporting and promoting tourism in cantonal economies, social justice, eliminating vast social and economic inequalities, and supporting and promoting the fight against gender-based violence.
Kolwapi said their membership is well over a thousand and they receive new members daily.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive, especially from young people and women,” she said.
Amanda Gouws, from Stellenbosch University, said the idea of a female-only candidate list was incredible, as it meant 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 the communities were and that it would be interesting to see what support they receive.
Gouws said there was a need for women candidates who wanted to make a difference in gender-sensitive policies.
“The country is ready for the right woman, it shouldn’t be someone who is part of a political faction or who auctions men for them,” Gouws added.