DURBAN - If condoms are free for use, so should sanitary pads - so says socialite Zodwa Wabantu.
Zodwa Wabantu has welcomed the government's decision for sanitary towels to be VAT free from April next year, but she is advocating for free sanitary pads for girls.
"I know what it feels like to be young, be on your periods and not have sanitary pads," said Zodwa Wabantu.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced the decision to add sanitary towels in the basket of zero-rated VAT items from April next year during his medium-term budget speech on Wednesday.
"Every woman has the right to have their needs taken care of, especially (sanitary) pads because going on your periods is natural and it is not something that people choose to go through every month," she said.
Zodwa Wabantu was speaking to the Sunday Tribune during a visit to the Independent Media's KwaZulu-Natal offices in Durban.
"I applaud the minister's decision because girls who do not have sanitary towels end up using things like toilet paper, which is not good for your health and may cause harmful infections. I do not believe that young should be victims of something that is natural and that they cannot control," she said.
Mboweni announced the inclusion of sanitary pads, bread flour and cake flour after an independent panel in August recommended white bread, bread flour, cake flour, sanitary products, school uniforms and nappies be considered for inclusion.
Zodwa Wabantu also sent a message of support to the family of rapper HHP who died on Wednesday.