South Africa: Ray Alexander-Simons Memorial Lecture


Parliament, Tuesday 22 November 2016 - Members of the media are invited to join Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Baleka Mbete, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Ms Thandi Modise and Parliament's Presiding Officers at the Memorial Lecture on Ms Ray Alexander-Simons.

The lecture, by Ms Amy Thornton, is the second in Parliament's Memory Project series of annual lectures.The Memory Project aims to honour the exceptional men and women - often from ordinary families - who played pivotal roles in the struggle for a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa. The series of commemorative lectures started in 2015 by celebrating Mme Charlotte Maxeke.

This year, Parliament is honouring Ms Ray Alexander - Simons, who devoted her life to advancing the rights of workers and a democratic South Africa based on racial and gender equality. For details of her life and contribution, please see biography below and attached.

Ms Thornton, who will deliver the memorial lecture, is a recipient of the Order of Luthuli and was active in a number of organisations which fought for freedom in South Africa. These include the United Democratic Front which was formed in 1983, the Communist Party of South Africa and the South African Communist Party. She was also a delegate to the Congress of the People in 1955 at Kliptown.

The memorial lecture by Ms Thornton, follows a symposium earlier this month on the progress and challenges for working women from the 1956 women's march to now. Mr Leon Levy, a close friend of Ms Alexander-Simons, also delivered an address entitled "What would Ray Alexander-Simons do if she landed in Cape Town in 2016?"

Media wishing to attend the memorial lecture should send their details by 16.00 on Tuesday 22 November to:

Masego Dlula (, 081 715 9398, 021 403 8141, copying

Estelle Randall (, 071 689 9992, 021 403 8195

Details should include full name, name of media house/title, designation (writer, photographer or broadcaster, for example), ID number, passport number if not a South African citizen and country of issue and expiry date

Media wishing to broadcast live should also send details of equipment and outside broadcasting vehicles, if applicable.

Source: Parliament of South Africa.