ANC women’s league president Bathabile Dlamini warned that if women in the ANC are not treated equally to men it may have a negative effect on the party.
“Now there is a problem of comrades thinking our generation is not going to change. If we are not careful, in the near future, the very women who have swelled the ranks of the ANC are going to form their own organisation and they will not care if it is a feminist organisation. As long as it will meet their demands, they will join it,” Dlamini said.
The ANC has in the past few months been plagued by incidents that the league deemed to be unfair.
Last month the ANC national executive committee announced that the Gauteng provincial executive council would have to drop one male MEC, following remarks made by Dlamini about the lack of female representation in the province.
Speaking to delegates at the dialogue, Dlamini urged Ramaphosa to ensure consistency in how women and men were disciplined in the party: “They must be treated equally”.
The dialogue took place came just hours after it was announced that Zandile Gumede had been axed as eThekwini mayor.
Dlamini was also removed from her position as minister of women. She later handed in her resignation letter to Parliament.
Despite these threats, Dlamini and the league’s deputy President Sisi Ntombela pledged their support to the president and advocated for unity in the party.
Ramaphosa agreed with them and said that infighting within the party was a deterrent for investors.
“The investing community wants to see us as South Africans being seriously and irrevocably committed to our own development. They do not want to see us fighting among ourselves. When they see us fighting and arguing among ourselves in the governing party or the country broadly, they think that there is political instability and they walk away with their dollars,” Ramaphosa said to hundreds of delegates who attended the event.
He acknowledged that the country was going through an economic slump but assured delegates that it was temporary situation.
“We will turn our economy around. We are going to do it, whether they like it or not.” He said.