More women set to serve in Parliament

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Parliament looks set to have an almost equal mix of men and women when it re-opens on May 6, although the ANC may yet reshuffle the names on its list.

Intelligence Minister Siya-bonga Cwele was too low down on the ANC's national list to get back into Parliament.

It is likely he will be pushed up to replace former MP Dennis Bloem, who was number 125 on the ANC's list until he defected to Cope before the elections.

If parties stick to the names supplied to the IEC, Parliament will be made up of about 53 percent men and 47 percent women.

There are almost as many black women as black men in Parliament, with white MPs making up fewer than 10 percent of the total.

The DA's candidate lists show that although they have more than 16 black MPs in their contingent of 67, white males make up the majority, putting the DA out of sync with the other opposition parties.

Cope has 23 black MPs out of 30, with almost 50 percent of all its MPs being black women. Two thirds of the MPs from the IFP are black.

Cope head of communications Phillip Dexter says his party is meeting today to finalise Cope's seats in the national assembly.

Former ANC heavyweights Mbhazima Shilowa, Smuts Ngonyama, Mosiuoa Lekota and former Cosatu president Willie Madisha have all won seats in Parliament.

With Cope youth leader Anele Mda, ousted former Eastern Cape premier Nosimo Balindlela, and Cope founder member Mluleki George, Parliament will be more explosive than ever.