The South African government has on Monday paid tribute to the millions of women who exercised their hard-won right to vote, taking part in the August 3 local government elections.
Minister of Women in the Presidency, Susan Shabangu, told reporters in Pretoria that since all South Africans had attained the right to vote in the historic general elections of April 27, 1994, South African women had been leading the way.
“South African women did not take it for granted (in the August 3 polls). They went out in numbers to vote in honour of the Women’s Charter and the women stalwarts who fought for this right. Since the 1994 elections to date, women are the majority of voters. Even on the 3rd (August), women were the majority of the voters,” said Shabangu.
“According to the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa), as at June 1 2016, of the 26 333 353 total registered voters, almost 55% were female. On April 1, 2014, registration statistics showed that the total number of registered women voters was 54,9% and the total number of registered male voters was 45,1%.”
August is dedicated as Women’s Month in South Africa, with nationwide commemorations taking place on August 9 – in honour of the more than 20 000 women of all races who marched to the Union Buildings to deliver a petition against the carrying of pass books, to then-prime minister Johannes Strijdom, on August 9, 1956.
For this year’s commemorations, President Jacob Zuma will deliver the national message at the 60th anniversary of the National Women’s Day celebrations to be held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
“President Zuma will launch the Women’s Living Heritage Monument at Lillian Ngoyi Square (in Pretoria CBD) at 8am, which tells the story about women’s contribution to the liberation struggle, it will #TellHerStory. The living heritage monument will be opened to the public on March 8, 2017,” said Shabangu.
“There will also be a massive parade from Lillian Ngoyi (Square) to the Union Buildings, following the footsteps of the foremothers and celebrating achievements of women in all sectors. The formal programme will commence at the Union Buildings south lawns at 11am. President Zuma will deliver the keynote address.”
– African News Agency (ANA)