Open Letter to Cyril Ramaphosa

By Siyabonga Mchunu - 07 September 2018Views : 434

Dear Mr President,

We the #NationalizePrivateSchools write this letter to you on behalf of thousands, if not millions of young women who sometimes miss school days because they cannot afford sanitary towels.

It is disturbing that the Government of the Republic of South Africa will over the next three years spend over R3.5-billion for the provision of scented and coloured condoms which no one asked for.

Over the next three years three billion male condoms, 54 million female condoms and 60 million lubricants will be handed out for free at more than 4000 sites countrywide.

Mr President we appreciate and commend you for all the work you have done to fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, have no doubt we indeed stand with you in this campaign, but don’t you think spending money on the provision of sanitary towels would ensure that young women who sometimes fall on the hands of “blessers” because they cannot afford sanitary towels and sometimes miss school days as a result would reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS amongst young women.

Mr President let me remind you that sanitary pads are items worn by women who are menstruating, bleeding after giving birth or experiencing a miscarriage. Sex is a choice and none of these things are by choice.

It is disturbing that in a country that prides itself with protecting the dignity of its citizens, young women are subjected to dire inhuman conditions. Don’t you think that the Provision of Sanitary Towels should be a basic human right to young women of school going age?

Mr President we acknowledge the role your political party has played in liberating South Africans from Apartheid and we appreciate the role it has played hence South African Citizens have kept it in power for 24 years.

But the role you and the ANC played during Apartheid days is not the sole reason the majority of South African citizens keep the ANC in power. We keep the ANC in power because we believe that it prides itself with championing the interests of SA citizens.

If indeed your interests are to see the lives of South Africans being developed and its young people attending school then the provision of Free Sanitary towels should be a basic human right.

We call on the Department of Social Development to implement the nationwide provision of Sanitary towels for school aged women in public schools who are beneficiaries of social grants. We further call on the State to establish a State-Owned entity that will manufacture sanitary towels that will be given for free to young women.

The #NationalizePrivateSchools calls on any progressive political party that has representation in parliament to table a motion that will force the Department of Social Development and the Department of Women in the Presidency to provide free sanitary towels to young women of school going age. To ensure that girls from disadvantaged backgrounds do not miss schools days. Access to education must be protected

Mr President you asked us to Thuma you and we are indeed doing so. Make the Provision of Sanitary Towels a basic human right. As young people we cannot sit down and do nothing about the commodification of basic human needs. Rest assured Mr President, we young people are united and we stand in solidarity with young women who cannot afford sanitary towels. If you and the ANC care about our votes, champion our interests. `

The #NationalizePrivateSchools calls on all young South Africans to stand in solidarity with young women and boycott the 2019 National Elections until all the political parties that believe they deserve our votes stand together and pass a motion that will ensure the Provision of sanitary towels is a basic women right. We will not vote for people who do not value the dignity of our constituency. Our Movement has embarked on a mass based campaign to ensure that majority of young people boycott the 2019 National Elections until our interests as young people are championed.

Mr President if you and your party officials are not direct beneficiaries of the commodification of sanitary towels, then why don’t you ensure that this basic need is accessible by the poorest of the poor? Mr President we never chose to be born into poor families but we assure you that our hard work and dedication will change our current situations, but you and your government do not seem to care about our future because if you did, the Minister of Basic Education would have told you that the girl child sometimes misses school days because of inadequate supply of sanitary towels.

The #NationalizePrivateSchools declares sanitary towels free from today and calls on all girl children to take these items for free in all major outlets. Mr President take the money invested in the scent and colour of condoms and invest it in the provision of sanitary towels and in doing so you will be ensuring that young people focus more on education than they do in sex. You have invested billions in making sex more interesting but do less to protect school days. We call on all young people of the Republic of South Africa and those who sympathize with us to join us as we embark on the #NoPad_NoVote Campaign.

By Penuel Maduna

National Convenor of #NationalizePrivateSchools