02/03/2018 13:57 SAST | Updated 02/03/2018 14:17 SAST

Gender Activist Groups Reject Bathabile Dlamini

At least two organisations fighting for gender equality are unimpressed with Bathabile Dlamini's appointment as the Minister for Women in the Presidency.

Bathabile Dlamini.
Gallo Images / The Times / Ruvan Boshoff
Bathabile Dlamini.

Gender-equality group Sonke Gender Justice says it is "deeply disappointed" by President Cyril Ramaphosa's decision to appoint Bathabile Dlamini as the Minister of Women in the Presidency.

"Placing former Social Development Minister and ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini in the position of women's minister further reveals the ANC's disdain for women's rights in this country," said the organisation's community education and mobilisation manager, Nonhlana Skosana.

She says the social-grant fiasco shows Dlamini's disregard for the millions of South African women who are heavily reliant on the government for child grants.

She also alleged that the ministry under Susan Shabangu was "compromised and ineffectual", saying that with Dlamini at the helm, the ministry will "continue to be a lame duck".

Sonke executive director Dean Peacock believes the appointment "represents party over country" and is a "grave mistake".

"Cyril Ramaphosa just undermined our confidence, particularly with regard to his commitment to addressing violence against women," he said in a statement.

The University of the Witwatersrand's gender equity office also criticised Ramaphosa's decision.

"It is disappointing that yet another president has failed to show that issues relating to women are taken seriously," investigation and advocacy officer Charlene Beukes said.

She added that the appointment was "a clear indication that the portfolio is not intended (nor has it ever been) to have any impact or effect on the lives of South African women".