As South Africa gears up for the upcoming elections, a guide shedding light on the leading political parties’ positions on LGBTIQA+ rights has been launched.
South Africa’s Easy Election Guide, produced by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and authored by journalist Nickolaus Bauer, aims to empower voters with insights into the stances of various political entities on crucial issues, including LGBTIQA+ rights.
Informative Resource Ahead of National Elections
The recently unveiled guide serves as a timely resource, offering a detailed overview of political parties, their policies, and their positions on key matters.
Covering 16 major political parties, from long-established ones like the ANC and the DA to newer formations such as BOSA and Rise Mzansi, the guide delves into pressing issues like housing, the environment, immigration, xenophobia, and even artificial intelligence.
Bauer emphasises the guide’s accessibility, stating, “Anybody can read this book and immediately have a clearer understanding about what is on offer from each political party and which party aligns best with their views. If you’re unsure who to vote for within a few hours, you’ll be well placed to make an informed decision.”
Varied Positions on LGBTIQA+ Rights
While most parties express some level of support for LGBTIQA+ rights, the guide reveals a range of perspectives, from fuzzy affirming statements to more detailed policy proposals.
The VF+, for example, offers its vague support for equality and opposition to discrimination. On the other hand, the EFF promises easy access to gender-affirming treatment, and Rise Mzansi outlines community outreach programmes to challenge and reform homophobic attitudes.
Of course, a few sentences outlining good intentions do not translate into consistent policies and actions. The ANC’s continued refusal to take a stand against LGBTIQA+ oppression in Africa and among its friends, and the DA’s increasingly regressive stance on gender identity issues are cases in point.
Only two parties – both espousing religious values – take an openly anti-queer stance. The ACDP (African Christian Democratic Party) states that it “does not condone LGBTIQA+ lifestyles,” while Al Jama-ah rejects “the proliferation of LGBTIQA+ issues in South African society.”
Empowering Voters with Essential Information
Despite a lack of insight on the past performance of the surveyed parties, the guide is nevertheless a useful and important resource for voters to be better informed about the options available to them.
“Voting is the absolute bare minimum a citizen is expected to do in order to keep their country’s democracy functioning. South Africa is in a deep crisis which will only worsen through a poor electoral showing from citizens,” asserts Bauer.
South Africa’s Easy Election Guide provides voters with essential information, encouraging them to actively engage in the democratic process. The guide can be downloaded here.