KZN ANC supports controversial bursary for virgins

2016-06-28 20:19
Sihle Zikalala. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Sihle Zikalala. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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KZN virgin scholarship is unconstitutional - activist

2016-01-26 15:35

Women's rights activists have criticised a municipality for offering scholarships to virgins. Watch Shaheema McLeod unpack why this points to a bigger issue when it comes to sex education in South Africa.WATCH

Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal ANC on Tuesday expressed its support for the UThukela District Municipality’s controversial bursaries for virgins.

“We need to encourage people to behave themselves, [to] restrain from sexual activities while they are still young,” ANC provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala told reporters in Durban.

 The good intentions behind the bursary and people’s rights needed to be balanced without excluding those that needed financial support, he said.

On June 17, the Commission for Gender Equality said the Maiden Bursary Award was unlawful, unfair, unreasonable and unconstitutional, and should be discontinued. It said the recipients should keep their bursaries, without having to be subjected to more tests.

“We have an initiative that encourages people, especially young girls, to conduct themselves in a disciplined manner,” said Zikalala.

Last Thursday, uThukela district Mayor Dudu Mazibuko said the commission’s ruling ridiculed Zulu culture.

The municipality received widespread criticism in January, when it awarded 16 young women the Maiden Bursary Award. The bursaries came with the condition that the recipients had to undergo virginity testing every holiday. If it was found that they were no longer virgins, their bursary would be taken away.

The bursaries were handed out on January 11, during the municipality’s mayoral matric excellence awards, at which 100 matrics received awards for excelling in their exams.

The municipality was scheduled to discuss the matter at a council meeting. Amakhosi (traditional leaders) were expected to meet for talks on Thursday.

Zikalala said the province was going to host the 21st International Aids Conference, during which all mayors were going to encourage young people to behave themselves.

Read more on:    anc  |  sihle zikalala  |  durban  |  education  |  culture

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