The now two-term Gauteng premier David Makhura was in July this year instructed by the national executive committee (NEC), the highest decision-making body of the ANC, to fire one male MEC from his provincial cabinet to make way for a female replacement.
This is part of the ANC’s policy to advance gender parity in all its structures, in line with resolutions of its 2017 national conference in Nasrec, Joburg.
The ANC policy, propagated by the ANC Women’s League, to have 60% of female MECs in any of the eight provinces where the premier is male, except the Western Cape where the main opposition DA governs, is good for our country.
It advances women empowerment, which is a constitutionally entrenched obligation in terms of Section 9 of the constitution – known generally as the equality clause – that no citizen should be denied of opportunity by virtue of their sex or gender.
Makhura has not implemented as instructed by the ANC. He should be fired for not only his refusal to implement a resolution of his party, but for also acting in a manner which is clearly unconstitutional.
Promoting women empowerment is a constitutional obligation of every citizen, especially leaders within the public sphere. The private sector usually follows the government example on such matters.
It is therefore disheartening that Makhura has not yet been relieved of his duties and demoted by the ANC.
Makhura, true to the patriarchal mentality, has essentially baulked at the instruction to replace one man in his cabinet with a woman.
The Gauteng premier has implied that all the men in his cabinet are so capable that no woman can match their ability, much less surpass it.
Women are the majority in our country. They comprise 51% of the population and certainly the majority of registered voters. There are more women who graduate from universities in South African than men.
There is no shortage of women professionals and politicians who may replace any man on the Gauteng provincial government in a blink and perform better.
The excuses Makhura has thus far, proffered for his primitive ideology about women leadership, are trite. The ANC Women’s League must put immeasurable pressure on him to implement the resolution of the ANC NEC or resign forthwith.
We must stand up against the premier on this. He is wrong.
OPINION: Sipho Mabaso