Home News WEMP Trains 300 Peace Monitors for Tomorrow’s Elections

WEMP Trains 300 Peace Monitors for Tomorrow’s Elections

by Thaabit Kamaar


Limpopo – The Women’s Election Mechanism for Peace (WEMP) has become a key initiative in the country to promote a peaceful and inclusive electoral process tomorrow. As part of the South Africa National Action Plan’s practical implementation, WEMP aims to increase women’s participation in peace and security processes and conflict prevention within their communities.

The program trains women to be peace monitors and establishes peace rooms in various provinces. These spaces serve as hubs for community leaders, peace monitors, and other stakeholders to monitor and respond to incidents of violence and unrest, particularly during critical times like elections.

According to Nana Nxumalo, Special Envoy to the Limpopo Peace Room, the program has successfully trained 300 peace monitors, predominantly women, to ensure a vigilant presence during tomorrow’s elections.

These monitors will ensure stability by identifying signs of conflict, violence, and unrest in their areas. Should the need arise, mechanisms and portals will act as early warning systems, allowing authorities to intervene swiftly.

“We know that from time to time, we have these offshoots of violence or disagreements in communities that sometimes escalate unnecessarily if they are not properly managed at the grassroots level. That is why the peace monitors are all over the place. They are able to pick up incidents and post them on a portal we call [Popola], which acts as an early warning system. This allows us to know what is happening, report and alert the powers that be, like the SAPS, and warn them that something is happening before it gets out of line.”

SMread| Al Jama-ah sets sights on greater representation

The Effectiveness of The Program

By training women as peace monitors, WEMP promotes peace and empowers women to take active roles in their communities. Nxumalo emphasised the importance of community-based monitoring, stating that women are strategically positioned within their communities, enabling them to detect and report incidents early before they escalate into more significant issues.

For this reason, WEMP plans to train and empower more women and young men, ensuring that the work to maintain peace and stability continues post-election.

Recalling the effectiveness and impact of the peace monitors, Nxumalo shared an incident in Limpopo where a peace monitor managed a violent altercation between political parties that resulted in the accidental shooting of a young person. By being on-site, the monitor was able to witness the incident and report it promptly to the authorities.

“When there are disagreements, mainly by the powers that be, the people who are most vulnerable sometimes get shorted, die in the process, or get injured. So it’s important for us to actually understand that we have to protect everyone in our communities: children, women, the elderly, and everyone.”

“But the voice of these monitors is very important because it is a neutral voice that allows everyone to know what is actually happening in the communities. We do know that emotions run very high, especially during election time.”

Looking beyond the elections, WEMP aims to sustain its efforts through ongoing training and community engagement. Nxumalo expressed optimism about collaborating with new government officials and negotiating additional projects and spaces to ensure peace in the country.

Related Videos