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Agents for Change - new party aiming to have SA's first female president

By Afikile Lugunya - Oct 31, 2018
Agents for Change - new party aiming to have SA's first female president

As the country readies itself for the 2019 National and Provincial Elections, a new women-led party, which will officially launch in December, is also hoping voters will give it the mandate to represent them.

Agents for Change will apparently reveal its all-female leaders at the launch.

Speaking to RNEWS, Ganeef Saffodien, who is not a stranger to politics and was well-known for his stint at the Congress of the People (COPE), said he is the Interim National Organizer for this new party.

Describing Agents for Change, Saffodien said: “Women are the primary leadership layer of Agents For Change. We arrived at this decision because we gave men 25 years to lead us and they failed us dismally.”

According to Saffodien, the party is preparing to launch in various provinces across the country.

Noting that the political space is a very volatile one, Saffodien said that he has been travelling to various provinces to ensure that the process leading to their upcoming launch is smooth and has no hiccups.

About the name - Agents For Change

Naming a political party is not easy as people might think, as the name has to "identity with millions of voters", Saffodien reminded RNEWS.

“A lot of thought was applied to choosing our name. It had to resonate with the current political climate and the plan for the future of the country,” he explained.

He added that Agents for Change was the only choice for an identity that the millions of voters would identify with.

Mandate to contest politics

Following consultative meetings the party held on the 28th and 29th of September in Western Cape, Saffodien said that the community endorsed the party as a "social democratic political party."

“We also importantly were given the mandate to contest elections. Both meetings were well attended,” he added.

“One of the crucial aspects of our purpose of existence is the entrenchment of the intention of bringing the country its very first female president.

“Women are the primary leadership layer of Agents for Change. We arrived at this decision because we gave men 25 years to lead us and they failed us dismally.”

‘Women can do it…’

Saffodien said that for many years, communities and society, in general, have had women as leaders. In South Africa, man households are headed by women.

“…and none of us are complaining about their treatment. Our homes are running smooth too,” he said.

“Mothers and women have been at the helm of stability for many decades while our men went into exile [during the struggle].”

There are still men in the party

Saffodien said that the men in Agents for Change’s structure have a role to assist as strategists and advisors, alongside the women.

“We will all get our hands dirty, engaging in the mobilisation work on the ground.”

He added; “Not a single political party currently cares about pro-women programmes and the upliftment of women. As Agents for Change, we are about to change this status quo.”

Following Soul City Chief Executive Officer, Lebogang Ramafoko’s lambasting of the country for its careless stance where women are concerned at the trial of disagraced Nigerian televangelist, Pastor Timothy Omotoso, Saffodien said Ramafoko was right.

“She correctly identified the gap, we too have identified and seek to occupy this space, as a political party,” he said.

“We share her views on the neglect of focus on the plight of women in the country and would like to announce that we are the party the country needs - a party that cares about women in all shapes and forms; to ensure that they are no longer marginalized.

“We will ensure that women take centre stage in plans to further develop the country, with the support of men in the realization of this plan.”

Agents of Change working towards launch

Saffodien added; “We are hard at work organising the launch of the party and its manifesto for December 2018.

“Our National General-Secretary will at a later stage communicate the venue and date for the launch.

“We will also unveil our leadership.”

Saffodien ended by saying; “We are gaining momentum; we are going to claim our space in the politics and change the atmosphere in our country.”

Image:  Ganeef Saffodien - Agents for Change Interim National Organiser.

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