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Who we are

Introduction to the role of the Commission for Gender Equality

The CGE is a constitutional entity, relied upon to ‘strengthen constitutional democracy’. The Constitution of South Africa, in creating a framework for a new society, has established a Bill of Rights in Chapter 2 of its first constitution of 1996. This is premised on the desire for a free and equal society in all fundamental and material aspects of life.

It is however internationally recognised that, notwithstanding the compounding effects of undemocratic political systems, society has suffered from millennia of patriarchy and male dominance in political, economic, social and cultural life. This requires a transformation in gender relations, to which end the Constitution has created the CGE to promote the substantive improvement in the quality and life experiences of the disadvantaged gender in society.

The CGE’s Organisational Design

The Commission operates at two levels, staff who are employed in terms of the Public Service conditions and Commissioners who are nominated by the public and appointed by the President following the recommendations from a multiparty parliamentary committee.

Environment
The constitutional and legal framework that the CGE is working within is one of its major strengths in that it allows it to interact with all structures inside and outside government. The wave and push for transformation makes it easy to put issues of gender equality onto the policy agenda. There are a lot of supportive networks who are throwing their weight behind the CGE particularly the NGO community and Donors. The international context is also conducive to promoting gender equality in that South Africa has committed itself to the major conventions such CEDAW and the Beijing platform of action. There are, however threats in the environment such as resource constraints. While it is understood that the resources of the country are overstretched, one of the major concerns which poses a threat to the Commission’s Programme of Action is the way government responds to this constraint.
Relations with government, other institutions and civil society
We have established a good working relationship with other structures, particularly the Public protector and the SA Human Rights Commission.

If we are to make a success of our mandate to promote and protect gender equality in the rural areas this sector is crucial. In terms of the OSW we have to work together to formulate a National Gender Policy and institutional framework which will provide a common understanding of the ideal of gender equality for the country as a whole.

The initiatives already started on partnership with related statutory bodies, especially some of those described in Chapter 9 of the constitution, should be continued. Resources can be efficiently utilised if some of the programmes are jointly undertaken and some of the Provincial and regional resources are shared.

South Africa Needs a CGE

There is a need to demystify gender oppression, participate in delivering South Africa from the chains of patriarchy and give those on the periphery an opportunity to taste the fruits of democracy. An institution like the CGE specifically on many of the problems already highlighted – ranging from legal and traditional to attitudinal – can begin to address these issues.

Celebrating 20 years of Democracy

Meet the team

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Ms L. Nare

Commissioner

Commissioner Nare has a Degree in Industrial Psychology and Education as well as a higher Education Diploma in Business Management and Education.  She is committed and passionate about issues of equality, civil and human rights; and that led her to pursue an activist role in various spheres of society. In her leadership capacities she works effectively with local elected officials, organizations, churches, and citizens, garnering their support for civil rights with regards to access of essential services within the Republic of South Africa. She was once Overall Convenor at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) Community Constituency. She currently serves as National Gender Coordinator at the South African Communist Party and Head of Department for SADTU’s (South African Democratic Teachers Union) Gender Unit. Commissioner Nare sits on the Human Resource, Education and Research IT and Communication Committees of the CGE.

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Ms N. Maphazi

Acting Chairperson

Commissioner Maphazi is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Programme in Municipal Development from Pretoria University and qualified in Management Development for Municipal Finance from the Wits University. She holds a Masters in Public Administration (Cum Laude), and PhD in Public Administration from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Her leadership experience varies from community based programmes to other responsibilities in the public sector, with specific focus on women, youth, local government and traditional affairs. She is former Special Advisor to the Premier of the Eastern Cape where she worked with all provincial departments. In that role she was also in charge of traditional leadership programmes and assisted in coordinating various community based and development programmes in the Eastern Cape. At the CGE, she sits Finance, Audit, Strategy Planning, Research and Education and Good Governance Committees.

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Mr M. Botha

Commissioner

Commissioner Botha has worked for Sonke Gender Justice as Media and Government Liaison Manager for eight years. Through his advocacy work, Commissioner Botha has been featured in numerous newspapers, radio and television features and interviews and is widely recognized for his work in South Africa and across the world. He has worked as the dissemination officer for the International Red Cross based in South Africa in the 1980s and was a founder member and Secretary General of the South African Men’s Forum where he dealt with issues of advocacy, training and community based structure building.  He co-hosts weekly talkshows on many commercial and community radio stations, reaching millions of listeners each week. Commissioner Botha currently serves on the boards Lifeline (Vereeniging), Genderlinks and South Africa Institute for Social and Health Science, based at the University of South Africa. In 2007, during a women’s day celebration speech in Galeshewe near Kimberly, President Thabo Mbeki singled Mbuyiselo out for special praise and expressed his appreciation for Commissioner Botha’s work on men for gender equality in South Africa. Commissioner Botha sits on Finance committee of the CGE and he also chairs the IT and Communication Committee.

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Mr W. Mgoqi

Commissioner

Commissioner Mgoqi is the former City Manager of the City of Cape Town, the former Chief Land Claims Commissioner on the Restitution of Land Rights.  He is a former Attorney and Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. He holds a BA degree in Social Science (UNISA), LLB (UCT) as well as three honorary Doctorate degrees (University of Cape Town, Walter Sisulu University and New York University). Several honours bestowed upon him came partly as a result of his social justice activism, human rights work and extensive community based work. He was once the Chairperson of the Trust for Community Outreach and Education, a member of the Panel of Arbitrators by the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa as well as to the Tokiso Panel of Mediators.  He is former Director of Companies, including:  Old Mutual, Old Mutual Bank, Safmarine, Safren Ltd, Syfrets and Sekunjalo Investment Ltd (Non-Executive Chairman). Commissioner Mgoqi served on the Board of the National Development Agency, Alumni Advisory Board of UCT, and Ernest Mancoba Advisory Board. He is Assessor on the Land Claims Court, assisting Judges of that Court in the adjudication of land claims. Commissioner Mgoqi sits on Legal and Good Governance Committees of the CGE.

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Ms N. Mazibuko

Commissioner

Commissioner Nomasonto Mazibuko, is a former primary school teacher who gave up her career to pursue the recognition of the rights for persons with albinism. She is the Executive Director and founder of the nationally established Albinism Society of South Africa (ASSA). Her journey saw her sit as a board member on the Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities-a Pan-African advocacy movement for the disabled, including people with albinism. She is currently the Chairperson of the Panel of Arbitrators for NPOs by the Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini for her tireless campaigning and leadership acumen. In partnership with the then Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities and a number of other stakeholders, her organisation held the first ever successful indaba for persons with albinism in South Africa. Commissioner Mazibuko sits on the Good Governance Committee, Education and Research of the CGE.

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Ms N. Bata

Commissioner

Commissioner Bata is a full time Commissioner at the CGE. She holds a Masters degree in Policy Studies. She has other qualifications in Economic Analysis and Development, Gender in Policy Making, amongst others. Commissioner Bata has held various positions in public service from 1978 to date. Commissioner Bata was once Director for Special Programmes in the office of the Eastern Cape Premier for three years. She was also Director of Committees and General Manager for Oversight Committees in the Eastern Cape Legislature. She currently sits in the Strategy Planning, and Legal Committees of the CGE.

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Ms F. Nzimande

Commissioner

Commissioner Nzimande is a part –time Commissioner at the CGE. She holds a BA degree in Education, a post – graduate diploma in Higher Education, amongst others. She has vast experience in the education sector with roles in management, research and leadership. She was once a Vice President for SADTU where she led the Gender Desk for a period of five years. Apart from her previous roles in the education sector, Commissioner Nzimande also worked at the department of labour as a Commissioner at the Commission for Employment Equity on a part – time basis. She is an ardent research with a number of published research papers under her name, with a range of subject matters which include, gender, women empowerment, and socio-economic issues. She is currently a Director at Ditsela Worker Education Institute. Commissioner Nzimande sits on the Legal, Finance, IT and Communications Committees of the CGE.

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Ms P. Sobahle

Commissioner

Commissioner Sobahle is a full time Commissioner at CGE and she is also an independent consultant working in the areas of research and training. She holds a Masters Degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Reading (UK). She also has qualifications in Anthropology and Education from the University of Fort Hare and Theoretical Linguistics from UNISA. In 2000 she completed a Certificate in Human Rights from the Southern African Human Rights Institute (SAHRIT) in Zimbabwe. Her main interest is to understand social reality and specifically how discourse structures enact, confirm, legitimise, reproduce or challenge relations of power and dominance in society. She is a teacher by profession and has also worked as a lecturer in Academic Development at the University of Fort Hare over a number of years. She has done work for several NGOs among them the then Independent Mediation Service of South Africa (IMSSA) as a mediator and trainer; DITSHWANELO Centre for Anti-racism and Anti sexism (CARAS) Trust and The Open Society Foundation for SA. In 2006 she worked for the EU- funded Project known as “Support to Policing of Crimes against Women and Children in the Eastern Cape”. She has served in the boards of Hospice Grahamstown and Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) and is currently Conciliator and Mediator for the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC). Commissioner Sobahle sits on the Legal, Education and Research and Good Governance Committees of the CGE.