1 Jun 2003

June 2003 - Second Term

  • Foreword
  • Health – A Better Life for All
  • A Servant of the People
  • “Responsibility does not come with age.”
  • Women and parliament
  • From dompas to ID - Power of access

Truly, the tide has turned

“ Since 1994, we have entered into a social contract, as South
Africans that, central to the realisation of our strategic goal is the eradication
of poverty and the defeat of underdevelopment in every corner of our country…
We celebrate freedom because it has given us the possibility to deliver services
to the people in the last nine years that have not been delivered throughout
the years of white minority rule.

Freedom Day Celebrations,

President of RSA, Thabo Mbeki, 27 April 2003

Foreword

This month Sephadi celebrates
one year in circulation as an ANC Caucus newsletter. We say happy birthday to
Sephadi.

We remain committed to improving the quality and quantity of this publication.
We started last year in June, 2002, with 500 copies and currently we produce
10 000 copies with the same amount of resources.

While continuing to reflect on transformational legislation, we have added
constituency work as part of the focal point of the newsletter. May we also
thank Members for increasing the number of articles contributed.

Sephadi would like to add its voice to the millions who, on May 25, took the
opportunity to thank and salute the Organisation of African Unity. Recalling
that, as we struggled against the monster of apartheid, independent Africa accepted,
and through the Organisation of African Unity, firmly stated that it was not
possible for African countries to achieve full independence while South Africa
remained under colonial rule.

Independent Africa understood then that, for her to embark fully on the road
to real social and economic emancipation, as is now being done through the African
Union and NEPAD, the twin scourge of colonialism and racism had to be extricated
from the African continent so that women and men of Africa can then begin to
engage, in a programmatic manner, the challenge of underdevelopment and poverty,
and as equals, chart a new future characterized by the reawakening of our continent.

We have, of course, made huge strides in the reconstruction of the health
sector, improving the accessibility of services and transforming the entire
delivery system. Today millions of women and children have access to free medical
care at places nearer where they live.

However, many challenges in that sector and others remain.

The inhuman system of colonial land dispossessions coupled with the sexist
and racist migrant labour policies, had a profound impact on African family
life and gender relations. Apart from creating single parents out of married
couples, and the many other family related problems attendant thereto, that
political economic system led to the direct exclusion of women from participating,
meaningfully, in the economic life of our society. Much as meaningful economic
participation by black men, and Africans in particular, was restricted in colonialist
apartheid rule, women suffered the worst forms of marginalisation, the majority
of whom found themselves confined to rural life.

As a consequence, while women make the majority of our population, they nevertheless,
constitute a disturbingly small percentage of the leadership of our economic,
political and social life.

As we take a break from parliament, it is going to be important that we engage
our constituency work in a serious manner so as to complement our election campaign
programmes.

Happy birthday SEPHADI!

Health – A Better Life for All

JAMES NGCULU
– Chair: Portfolio Committee on Health

T ruly, the tide has turned, in the mere space of nine years, the government
has brought changes that have completely confounded both friend and foe.

Indeed, we have responded to the challenge of our epoch, that of transforming
ourselves from the status of objects of history to that of masters of history.

A true testimony that we are indeed masters of our history is testified by
the budget introduced by the Minister of Finance in February 2003, which was
hailed by all as a good budget. A budget that puts more money into social spending
with health getting significant increases.

As the former President, comrade Nelson Mandela stated in 1999 “ the
profound changes of the past (few years) make the distance traversed seem so
short, the end so sudden”. No one who is honest can deny that progress
has been made in particular in the sphere of health. It might have been prominent
in other aspects and hidden in some, however, the point is that progress has
been made.

Yesterday, women and children could not access free medical care and at places
nearer to where they live. Today we boast of the monuments of freedom by the
number of clinics and hospitals dotted in the length and breadth of our country.
Today, pregnant women, the elderly, children and the disabled have access to
free health care. Where it could have taken kilometres, at great cost, to reach
services, now they are nearby.

Yesterday, some hospitals were dilapidated and in a poor state. Today through
the Hospital Revitalisation programme we have seen great improvements in hospitals.
These include the building of new hospitals, the facelift and refurbishment
of existing facilities, the purchasing of new equipment as well as decentralizing
management. We have at least two major projects under way in each province that
will result in brand new state of the art hospitals.

Recognising health as a not-for-profit commodity, the ANC-led government has
introduced measures that regulates the private medical industry and also recognises
that our responsibilities extend beyond our immediate family. Hence the provision
for dependents from an extended family.

As the ANC we have stood firm in our belief that our people should have access
to cheaper medicines. We have therefore challenged the pharmaceutical multinationals
to reduce their prices by introducing legislation that achieves this. We have
also introduced legislation to increase access to pharmacies especially in rural
and underserved areas. A number of doctors have been deployed to rural areas
to broaden access to health care.

Yesterday, the quality of care and service to patients was far from satisfactory.
Today we can boast of improvements in this regard through Batho - Pele, the
Patient Rights Charter and the National Policy on Quality. These policies are
aimed at improving the quality of care by giving patients the opportunity to
complain about poor services, strengthening the supervisory system, providing
for accreditation of health facilities and providing for peer review. The national
patient complaint system has been strengthened together with the system to monitor
conduct of patient satisfaction surveys and implementation of corrective measures.
Patients and communities have now mechanisms to ventilate their problems with
regard to treatment and service. We will continue to strive for a more caring
society and a responsive health system.

Yesterday many children left home hungry and left school hungry thus undermining
significantly the capacity to learn and nutritional well-being.

Today, the Integrated Nutrition Programme has seen a dramatic jump from R500m
to a billion Rands this financial year. There is also strong emphasis on standardized
menus and food fortification.

As a diverse society with a variety of health seeking treatments we have legally
recognised the importance of Allied Health Professionals. We are currently in
the process of finalising policy on African traditional medicine and regulation
of traditional health practitioners.

HIV/AIDS continue to present us with serious challenges. It is a challenge
the government has grabbed with both hands. As ANC we are committed to fighting
this scourge of disease.We are indeed gratified to see a marked increase in
the allocation to Enhanced Response to HIV/AIDS, STIs and TB to the tune of
R3,3 billion over the MTEF.

We state the obvious; we base our response on HIV/AIDS on the comprehensive
Strategic Plan that addresses prevention, treatment and care, research and human
rights.

Our prevention programme is regarded as the best on the continent. Most provinces
are now extending the PMTCT programme to more facilities and about 658 hospitals
and clinics are now providing these facilities. By the end of 2002, VCT was
available in 982 sites throughout the country. 665 HBC facilities have been
introduced exceeding the target given by Cabinet of 500 sites by 2002.

The national Department of Health initiated a range of activities to assist
provinces in some of these programmes. These included the appointment of coordinators
and administrative staff in key programmes of VCT, HBC and PMTCT. Already, 2000
Home-based Careers have been trained nationally as well as 180 master trainers
for VCT at 20 per province.

A number of measures are being implemented in the arena of treatment including
early and effective treatment of opportunistic infections, strengthening the
immune system including improved nutrition, the use of anti-retroviral therapy
at appropriate stages of illness. There are measures the government is involved
in which are aimed at lowering the cost of treatment including legislative processes.

The clarion call that all of us should respond to- is the need to embrace the
call for partnership and to lend a caring hand. The issues are not new. They
are found in government documentation, cabinet statements of the 17th of April
2002 and the 19th of March 2003. These statements are further testimony of the
commitment of our government to meeting its obligation.

Many South Africans and some who are not South African, including the President
of the UNAIDS and the Executive Director of the Global Fund have hailed our
programmes and achievements. Yet among us as South Africans, we treat this as
another political football where some of us are prepared to celebrate death
as long as it fits a particular agenda.

We observed with awe and disbelief the alacrity with which certain circles
tried to seize on the Human Rights Commission 4th Report on Economic and Social
Rights. As usual the negative was seized as the defining aspect of the report.

  1. The first shortcoming of this report is that the context is limited to
    Constitutional aspects of the assessment but falls short of the changing dynamics
    of South Africa. South Africa of 2000 is different to South Africa of 2003.Thus
    the report fails to acknowledge this simple fact where the country comes from
    and progress she continues to make and the way ahead including improvement
    in the quality of life of especially the poor.
  2. On HIV/AIDS, the report seems to confuse the matter of PMTCT and access
    generally of ARV`s in public health institutions. It thus calls on the government
    to implement the Constitutional Court ruling on Nevirapine, as if this has
    been in dispute. It calls for more allocation of more resources to HIV/AIDS
    treatment without examining the totality of the campaign, the comprehensive
    issue of treatment itself and progressively increasing budgets to this programme.
    I have just highlighted the two aspects above due to space and time.

There are of course some people who continue to peddle a sustained lie that
our government is uncaring and doing nothing in the field of health in general
and HIV/AIDS in particular.

We are daily treated to a platitudinous refrain that six hundred people die
every day. We are treated to an insidious argument that has tended to trivialize
human suffering in order to serve egos and nefarious agendas that scavenges
on the suffering and death of our people.

Some have declared civil disobedience against a government led by a movement
that steadily fought for this democracy. In this campaign no one is immune as
their views take precedence over others. Any attempts to engage in dialogue
is treated with scorn. Elected representatives of the people being called murderers,
is a serious attack on the very tenet of democracy.

As comrades and concerned citizens we have to stand together to work towards
a better health care system.

This is also the response to Cabinet’s call for forging partnerships
to ensure a better life for all we will continue to engage with all people of
South Africa and the world until we defeat this disease.

The colonial/apartheid legacy we inherited will not be eradicated in the mere
space of nine years. This is the mess that has taken over three centuries to
create. This is the mess that has taken over three centuries to create.To address
this legacy effectively we need to confront it with the same commitment as we
did the struggle against apartheid.

We are approaching the First Decade of Freedom with a sense of satisfaction
and confidence. Satisfied that we have managed in the mere space of nine years
to improve the quality of life, to transform our segregated society and to deliver
services where they never existed before to usher in a sense of hope.

Confident that this sense of hope has imbued our people with pride knowing
that the ANC has remained truthful to them. The ANC is unrivalled in its policies
and programmes to improve the socio-economic conditions of our people.

In conclusion I would like to commend the cadre of health workers, the men
and women who toil in the NGO and CBO sectors and who provide quality services
under trying circumstances.

There are still challenges that lie ahead, but we are encouraged by the fact
that indeed the tide has turned.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Chief Whip and his Deputy for being hands on.

Our capable Whip, MK Lekgoro who’s always
available to whip us into line.

All contributers for providing articles promptly.

Nkenke Kekana a seasoned communicator who left
Parliament in May 2003.

The editorial task team for their endeavour to
assist the unit.

Design Strategy with its capable and diligent team.

By Sephadi team.

A Servant of the People

Vusi
“Cuba” Mahaye, Editor of Sephadi speaks to Chairperson of ANC Caucus.

When she first took up employment at Bond Clothing in 1969, like all Black
parents toiling under apartheid, African National Congress (ANC) MP Joyce Kgoali
merely wanted to make ends meet and maintain her family.

But the harsh, degrading and inhuman treatment meted out against her and other
employees inspired Comrade Kgoali to fight apartheid and racial discrimination
wherever it reared its ugly head. Due to financial constraints, she left school
in 1969 while doing standard eight. The very same year, she was employed at
the Bond Clothing Company, but the cruel treatment of Black people, like having
to take breakfast in a dirty and unhealthy shed that looked like a “pigsty”,
brought the employees together and they formed a trade union movement. Although
subscriptions were “still collected by hand”, many members could
not raise the funds due to the meagre salaries they earned. In 1987 she joined
K and R Clothing and was elected shopsteward.

In 1993 she was employed as SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu)
organiser. She was deployed to the Gauteng legislature and became the chairperson
of Housing, Public Works and Transport.

In 1999 she was again deployed to the legislature as an MPL and Whip, this
until she was redeployed to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) as a provincial
whip. She is also serving as, among others, a member of the ANC’s political
committee and Chairperson of Committees in the NCOP.

She is a serving member of both the ANC and ANC Women’s League Provincial
Executive Committee in Gauteng. Comrade Kgoali was the first woman MP to be
chairperson of the ANC caucus in May 2002. She is also an MP in the National
Council of Provinces.

Like many South African women, her kids expect motherly love from her, but
the reality is that she is too busy to meet their expectations –not that
she loves them less.

Kgoali stays in Pimville, Soweto, and her constituency includes Moletsane,
Tladi, Naledi, Zola, Emdeni and Jabulani. Most residents of these areas are
victims of forced removals by the apartheid government. These are the people
who were later dumped on barren land, with no proper infrastructure. The challenges
facing this constituency are poverty and unemployment.

But she is positive about government interventions, in an attempt to improve
the people’s lives and pushing back the frontiers of poverty. “
There are a number of interventions in this regard. These range from the utilisation
of unused land for small scale farming, social grants, feeding schemes, community
projects such as Zivuseni, whose intention is to create jobs.” Close planning
with Councillors in this regard is of great importance in order to work in a
systematic manner. Comrade Kgoali has to shuttle frantically between these constituencies.
Before breakfast she has met three groups from the community, then dashes off
to the office. Her diary reveals a busy schedule. She was still discussing a
local project when the phone rang. She postpones the project meeting and has
to rush off to another house in the neighbourhood.

Upon arrival, she meets an elderly woman of about 70 years who had been locked
out of the house by her own son because of a family dispute. This woman tells
Comrade Kgoali that she had had nothing to eat since the early hours of the
morning. Fearing that the son may assault his mother upon his return from work,
Kgoali buys food and organises a safe place for her to sleep.

As though this problem was not enough, another three people approach her complaining
about how frustrating and slow the process of social and pension grants is.

The emotions are calmer now after she arranges a meeting with the various
departments to address the matter the following day. Comrade Kgoali realises
that she is running late for her ANCWL meeting in the Vaal region, some 100km
away.

It is five o’clock and she leaves the meeting indicating that she must
not be late for the next one (ANC). Arriving at Ekurhuleni on time, they have
not yet started. She gets a chance to eat her “late lunch”. The
meeting lasts from 20h00 to 22h30.

We drive back home and arrive only to discover that Comrade Kgoali’s
family is already asleep. I was leaving when she invited me for another constituency
trip for the following day. But I was not prepared to be a slave of endless
meetings and lengthy roads. What touched me, though, was when she indicated
that she at least felt safer driving with somebody else than to be behind the
wheel alone during the night.

“Responsibility does not come with age.”

Vusi “Cuba”
Mahaye and Simphiwe Xako, Sephadi Team speak to Charlotte Lobe, MP.

In 1987 a young school girl, doing standard five at Leshomi High School, in
Botshabelo, was arrested and detained for 90 days, under Section 90 of Security
Act. Her “sin” was that there was graffiti on her classroom wall
which read ALUTA CONTINUA!

At the age of fourteen, Charlotte Lobe was a member of the Student Representative
Council and not aware of the political crisis in the country. Her arrest was,
therefore, a surprise because she did not have a clue what the writing stood
for.

Her detention at the Ramakraal prison, Bloemfontein, turned into political
induction. This is where she met members of the congress movement for the first
time. Though she was released after a national outcry for the release of child
prisoners, the incident left a lasting mark in her mind.After being involved
in the struggle for liberation, under the guidance of the African National Congress
Youth League. She was deployed to the National Assembly (NA) as an MP in 1999.
Comrade Lobe, the youngest National Assembly MP at 30, argues that our youth
today does not have the pressure that her generation experienced, things are
more relaxed and the opening of opportunities means that they are exposed to
western culture. The point, however, is that we must continue to expose them
to realities of our continuing struggle against poverty, illiteracy, unemployment
and many more.

She further notes that we must not blame this younger generation for enjoying
the fruits of the struggle, but the challenge is to educate them to defend and
advance this revolution. Maturity and responsibility do not come with age. Youth
must participate in decision-making and influence the future direction. The
youth must be keen to know what parliament is and its role. Parliament itself
must reach out to the youth as a sector and engage with them. The establishment
of Umsobomvu fund and Youth Commission is a demonstration that this government
is concerned about the youth. Like the generation of Sisulu and Mandela, our
youth must take a lead. The youth can afford to enjoy one-sided freedom of social
benefit and fail to exercise obligations coming with this liberation amongst
others to vote and vote correctly.

She dismisses any attempt to label MPs as lazy people who are nowhere to be
found during constituency period. “It depends where do you want them to
be. Most of the MPs do engage with their constituency during this period. If
people expect us to sit in our constituency offices, that is a wrong understand
about our work. Ours is a revolutionary duty to go where our people are. Office
appointments we honour as requested but that is not our place for working but
is for consultation.

Office appointments we honour as requested but that is not our place for working
but is for consultation.”

Constituency work must be understood at three levels where you service a geographical
area, sector and political work as an activists across boundaries and sectors.

She has been part of Youth Congress since 1987 – Botshabelo Youth and
Student Congress. With unbanning of the ANC she became part of leadership of
ANCYL at different level until being elected to the PEC and to the NEC in 1998.
Presently she is the Deputy-Secretary for the Free State ANC PEC. In the NA
she serves in the Provincial and Local and Intelligence Portfolio Committees.

She describes Botshabelo before 1994 as a place where there were no street
lights. Electricity was found only in the section where civil servants lived,
which was 5% of the population.

People were drawing water from communal taps which were quite a distance.
The whole shanty area used the bucket system.There were few clinics and schools,
with a lot of dropouts because of un-affordability. Today Botshabelo, like many
other areas in SA, has street lamps and electricity. Many households have water
taps. The replacement of bucket system is in progress. RDP houses and self-built
decent homes are all over the place – relatively better living standards.
More than three clinics have been built and schools are available within a reasonable
distance and more educational opportunities.

Asked about three priorities, she mentions the complete removal of the bucket
system, establishing an institute for skills development. and investment that
can boost the economy.

She agrees that the tide has truly turned, but she immediately warns, “government
cannot do everything. Communities must enter into partnership with government
and business. They must hold their destiny firm in their hands.”.Youth
must lead this battle at all cost like heroes of June 16th ,1976 , who were
convince that without weapons they will defeat the mighty force of apartheid.
We are proud that their act inspired, future generation of youth.

Women and parliament

Lulu Xingwana
– MP, ANCWL NEC Spokesperson and Chairperson of Women’s Parliamentary
Caucus

No time in history vividly marks the power of South African women as 1956,
when thousands marched to Pretoria in protest against pass laws and the notorious
1913 Land Act.

The struggle of South African women, under the banner of the African National
Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) has been a long, effective and disciplined
one. They have always been at the forefront in the concerted effort to dismantle
apartheid. Women also fought for recognition within their own organisation,
the ANC – which they achieved in 1943.

Prior to the elections in 1994, the ANC adopted the quota system for women,
whereby in all its lists every third candidate was a woman. This was the result
of a major campaign by the ANCWL at the first consultative conference after
the unbanning of the ANC in 1990. This raised the percentage of women in the
South African Parliament in 1994 to 27%, and we ranked seventh worldwide in
terms of representation of women in legislatures.

After the elections, the Constituent Assembly was formed. Many of the women
who were elected into Parliament participated in the Constituent Assembly (CA),
and spearheaded the engendering of the final Constitution and the Bill of Rights
of SA.

Our Constitution has an equality clause that has been included in the Bill
of Rights. This clause supersedes religious and customary rights to ensure that
the rights of women are protected at all times. The Charter of women’s
rights informed the gendering of our new constitution.

The ANC in its national conference in Mafikeng in 1997 amended its constitution
to include a clause advocating affirmative action and a one-third quota for
women in all its structures, delegations and candidates’ lists. This is
now a constitutional right that empowers women at all levels in the ANC.

The ANC has also set up, within its National Executive Committee, a subcommittee
on gender, whose main focus is to ensure that all ANC policies and programmes
are gender sensitive. Committing other parties to follow ANC example is necessary.

The Multi-party women’s caucus also plays an important role in uniting
women on issues of common interest and ensuring that women speak in one voice.
The presence of women in such institutions makes a qualitative and quantitative
difference in the type of legislation that is proposed and passed into law.

There is evidence that the presence of women decision-makers does influence
the outcome or even the issues debated.

Of the twelve countries with the highest proportion of women in Parliament,
all use either proportional representation voting systems, or mixed systems.
Eight of these twelve countries also have major parties that set quotas for
women candidates, but only Argentina has a national law requiring a certain
percentage of women candidates from all parties. None have seats reserved for
women.

SADC is the leading region in gender representivity in Africa. South Africa,
Mozambique and the Seychelles are in the top twelve countries of the world as
far as the representation of women in legislatures is concerned. Lesotho, Tanzania,
Namibia and Botswana have improved women representation. In South Africa the
high proportion of women MPs is largely as a result of the African National
Congress adopting a one-third quota for candidates lists. Presently, South Africa
has among the highest percentage of women parliamentarians in the world (30%).
There has been a steady increase in the number of women ministers and deputy
ministers in South Africa’s cabinet since the first democratic elections.
Cabinet currently boasts nine women ministers out of 27 ministers, and eight
women deputy ministers out of 16.

Strategic Ministries like Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Minerals and Energy,
Agriculture and Land, Communications and Broadcasting, Public Service and

Administration, Public Works, Housing and Health are headed women. At Deputy
Minister level Trade and Industry, Justice, Defence and others are headed by
women. Women are also senior office bearers in Parliament. The Speaker, Deputy
Speaker, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and a number
of chairpersons of Parliamentary committees in both the National Assembly (eight)
and NCOP ( five) are women. The Chairperson of ANC Caucus is also a woman.

The picture at the provincial and local government levels is not as positive.
Only three of the nine provinces have over 30% representation of women in their
legislatures: Gauteng, Northern Province and North West. Only one province has
a woman premier, Free State. In our big metro cities we have only one mayor
who is a woman, Cape Town. We obviously still need to work hard at these levels.

We also have women chairing the Independent Electoral Commission and the Commission
on Gender Equality. Two women judges serve on the Constitutional Court, which
is the highest court in the country. Women judges also serve in various provincial
levels of the judiciary and more are in the process of being appointed by the
Judicial Services Commission.

In 1998 the first black governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa was appointed,
and early in 1999 the deputy governor who is a woman was appointed. We trust
that more women will follow in these key appointments in the near future.

The Women Caucus is also involved in lot of international work. Presently they
are playing a meaningful role in the Inter – Congolese dialogue. They
are sharing experiences of women during the struggle, negotiations, peace building
during the transitional period. The impact that women have made in parliament,
achievements and gains are of high importance. The last important point is sharing
experience of working together as women from different political background.
SADC regional women’s parliamentary Caucus is steady but surely finding
its feet.

The struggle continues but women’s presence is being felt in parliament.
Recesses have been aligned with school holidays, there has been an increase
in the number of toilet facilities for women, gender sensitive language has
been used in drafting of legislation, Parliamentary sessions now commence earlier
and close earlier than before 1994, to allow for more quality time for members
of parliament and their families.

The need to educate women on their rights and protection measures given to
them by legislations, need to be intensified.

This remains a great challenge.

From dompas to ID - Power of access

Patrick Chauke – Chairperson Home Affairs Portfolio Committee

The African National Congress led government came into power in 1994. Our promise
to the people of this country was to make their lives better. Informed by our
experience of the mass struggles of the past decades, we knew it right from
the beginning that, we will not succeed in this effort if we do not have the
full participation of the South African Citizens.

In an effort to improve the lives of our people, the government embarked on
a number of campaigns, which include the following:

  • Free access to health care for all pregnant mothers and for children
    under the age of six.
  • Free access to education for all those children whose parents could
    not afford to pay fees, access to financial aid for all those students
    who attend universities and technikons.
  • Access to housing subsidy, for all South Africans developed a indigent
    policy for all those citizens who could not afford to pay services
    due to many reasons e.g.: unemployed or pensioners.
  • Access to pension grants for our matured citizens. Social grants
    for all the children under the age of eight for now, over the next
    three years to be extended until reaches the age of fourteen.

These are among the services that the South African citizens need to access,
however those services cannot be accessed if a person does not have a green
Bar-Coded Identity Document. This is a basic document that you need. It is an
obligation of all South Africans to have it.

The African National Congress led government has committed an initial R15 million
to roll out Identity Document campaign to all South Africans. This allocation
is for all those people who could not afford to pay for their Identity Documents.
Identity Documents are now free as from June 2003. This is another way in which
our government is trying to reach out to all South Africans.

The Department of Home Affairs, as the Department charged with the responsibility
in leading the campaign. The Department has 120 mobile units dispatched throughout
the country for the purposes of taking services to all the people of this country
in particular people in rural areas where they do not have access to Home Affairs
offices.

Each and every province is required to develop a plan of how to roll out the
campaign. Other provinces like the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape have already
developed plans for the campaign. We call on all South Africans to listen to
their radio’s, read local newspapers and phone their local Home affairs
offices to inquire about the campaign. People can also visit the Department
website. www.home-affairs.pwv.za

All these services are possible because we are a Democratic society, a society
that is at work to extend the frontiers of prosperity. In an effort to retain
what we have already achieved and work for more achievements. South Africans
will be going to the polls for the third time next year. The Independent Electoral
Commission {IEC} is charged with the responsibility to conduct the elections.
They have also appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and they
have outlined their plan and the Portfolio Committee is satisfied.

The IEC is busy developing a plan for voter registration drive for later in
the year. The main target is those first time voters who will be turning 18
just before the elections next year. June is the youth development month, we
call upon the youth structures and organisations to help the IEC by mobilising
the youth to go and register for elections. The Electoral commission will be
visiting various schools throughout the country and various campuses to ensure
that all eligible South Africans are not denied a right to choose a government
of their choice.

The second group of people are those people who have changed places of residence
over the last five years. Those would need to re-register. We call on all South
Africans to support the Electoral Commission in this drive to register eligible
voters. All South Africans must support our institutions that are charged with
the responsibility to safeguard our democracy.

[Sephadi Index]