/ 24 July 2023

Ramaphosa calls on ANC women to secure victory in the 2024 elections

Ramaphosa Anc Conference Delwyn 2
President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the ANC Women’s League to rally behind its new leadership and to help the governing party secure an outright victory in the 2024 national and provincial elections.

The league, which had last held an elective conference in 2015, elected Sisisi Tolashe as its new president at the weekend, along with a slate of pro-Ramaphosa women leaders for the body’s top structure. Tolashe replaces Bathabile Dlamini.

Ramaphosa said the women’s league, as the largest formation of women in the country, needed to “insist” that women secured access to financial resources, land and a greater role in the economy.

Addressing the closing ceremony on Sunday night, Ramaphosa said the battle for equal economic and social rights was far from over and that they needed to remain focused on this goal.

“You are called upon as both members of the ANCWL and the broader democratic movement to achieve nothing less than the total equality of women in every sphere of life. Our efforts must be focused on economic and social empowerment of women,” he said.

This included fighting for land rights, equal employment opportunities, title deeds, economic access and ending gender based violence.

Ramaphosa said the women’s league was “tasked” with pushing the government to ensure that 40% of its procurement contracts go to female entrepreneurs to help achieve this.

“This is an important issue so that we can empower the women of our country and in government. We are moving forward with this. We are moving forward in preparing women with workshops and training,” he said.

“It is taking time, but it is something that must happen so that the women of our country can know that they have set aside 40% of their procurement of services and goods,” he said.

Ramaphosa said more women were registered to vote than men and in this context the league had a crucial role to play in helping the ANC over the line in 2024.

“As women you constitute the largest number of people who are registered to vote. At voting time it is you as the women of South Africa who turn out in larger numbers than men. “

“As we approach the 2024 elections, the ANCWL has an important role to play because when it comes to mobilising for the ANC, you are right at the top. We thank you for that,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the women’s league and the ANC Youth League would be “on the front line” of the election campaign and were expected to “ensure an ANC victory” in the coming elections.

“I will be relying on you to ensure that you raise the voice, the campaign and the presence of the ANC right throughout the country.”

He said the governing party needed to focus on “content” rather than slogans and engage voters in a way that reflected this.

While the top five officials were announced ahead of Ramaphosa’s closing address, delegates left the venue without knowing who the 40 additional members they voted for were because of the delays in proceedings caused by registration and other issues.

Commissions on key policies also had to be abandoned because of time issues, with organisers saying these would be dealt with in a second, virtual meeting.