- The ANC Women's League has re-launched the ANC's Masupatsela, or "young pioneers", wing.
- It is meant to teach children values such as patriotism and discipline.
- ANC Women's League leader Bathabile Dlamini said the league should take Covid-19 orphans under its wing.
ANC Women's League leader Bathabile Dlamini said the league wants to take children and instil values of "patriotism, discipline, self-sacrifice and loyalty" in them.
Dlamini was speaking at the re-launch of the ANC's Masupatsela, or "young pioneers", wing in Sebokeng, which is aimed at giving membership to children from eight to 14 years of age.
"We want to build young people," Dlamini said, at a hybrid International Women's Day event which saw a small number of children attend, in ANC uniform, while standing spaced-out in a line in the sun during the three-hour-long event.
One other issue is that you need to educate young people so they can understand what loyalty is, what discipline is, what courage is, and what respect is, and that we have to respect everyone. We must be exemplary and help old people where they stay.
She also said the league must help take care of young orphans who have lost their parents to Covid-19, and the league should act like Charlotte Maxeke, Lilian Ngoyi, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and look after children.
The movement will provide for different clubs for children to get involved in activities, such as reading, mountain climbing, and culture, she said.
"We have to instil the pride in rich history and ensure [they know] where we are going as a party and as a country," she added.
"We must teach our children to thrive so that they can be better leaders for the future."
She said it was important to look after children, because in countries like Nigeria they have been dying (last month 300 schoolchildren were kidnapped, presumably for a ransom), while in other countries they are being employed as child soldiers.
Dlamini said programmes similar to Masupatsela are being done in countries like Cuba too. "What is important is that we have to prepare young people for the future because they are our future generations, they are future leaders," she said, adding each branch should have a "mother" who is responsible for that branch's Masupatsela.
The lessons learnt in this movement will be, "... more than politics", she said.
Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was also scheduled to speak at the event but she did not make an appearance, however a number of women's leaders from neighbouring countries as well as Venezuela delivered messages of support.
The Masupatsela, originally launched 68 years ago, was closely associated with her father, Walter Sisulu.
EFF leader Julius Malema started his political career as a Masupatsela member 36 years ago, aged 14.