Despite all the promises that the ANC government has made concerning gender equality and economic inclusivity in South Africa, the reality faced by women on a daily basis is quite the opposite.
Government referring to itself as a “capable developmental state” in a parliamentary debate on the matter demonstrates that talk really is cheap and that the government is completely out of touch with reality.
A developmental state aims to meet all the needs of its people. The greatest of these needs is a sustainable job with an income one can live on and security for the future. Other needs include feeling protected against crime, having confidence in state institutions, having access to good healthcare services and reliable service delivery, for which one pays.
These are the basic things that a “capable developmental state” ought to provide to its people. In South Africa, however, the ruling party puts its own interests before those of the people.
Unemployment has reached its highest level yet at 44,4% – this figure includes the 3,4 million people who have lost all hope of finding a job. In these times of despair, black women are the ones who are the worst off with 41% who are unemployed.
Youth unemployment in the age group of 15 to 24 is at a staggering 64,4%. Among these unemployed youths, 3,3 million have received no form of formal training or education. They have been let down miserably.
Amid this crisis, which is the government’s own making, more jobs are lost on a daily basis due to further failures of the government. One example is the Clover plant in the North West where 300 people will lose their jobs as the business has no choice but to close down due to poor service delivery. The government has let all these workers down.
In Parliament, the FF Plus frequently points out the government’s failures when it comes to the promotion and protection of women’s rights. Headlines in the media bear witness to the flood of murders, assaults as well as incidents of abuse and rape of women on a daily basis.
How are women supposed to feel safe when a woman is murdered every three hours in this country?
Has anything really changed since that day in 2019 when women protested in front of Parliament? No. Many promises were made, but nothing has changed. Women are being let down.
And then amid these harsh realities, the ANC still has die audacity to say that women’s rights are being promoted through an inclusive economy in a “capable developmental state”. These words are a slap in the face of every South African, particularly every woman and child.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Heloïse Denner on FF Plus