President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his virtual address for National Women’s Day on Monday, assured South Africans of the government’s commitment to promoting women representation across society.
South Africa marks 65 years since the 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings where anti-apartheid struggle icons demanded that pass laws be revoked.
Under the banner “The year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Realising Women’s Rights”, Ramaphosa highlighted women’s struggle for equal rights, dignity, economic liberation and freedom from violence.
He stressed that even though progress had been made, there was still a lot of work to be done to empower women.
The government was working on a “financial inclusion policy” to eradicate the stumbling blocks experienced by women-owned businesses.
Opposition parties also shared their Women’s Day messages.
DA leader John Steenhuisen visited women entrepreneurs in Midvaal where he stressed that the government had a role to play in the empowerment of their businesses.
“The focus is on providing seed capital at 0% interest for women entrepreneurs. This is for women who have got businesses or business ideas and they supply the capital to allow them to get started.”
He visited Bokamoso Bo Bontle Trading and Projects and Dima’s Chicken Livestock who both received assistance from the Sebenza Mbokodo Women’s Fund – a project spearheaded by the Midvaal Municipality.
He added, “Women are the largest voting group in the country and are the front of gender-based violence, discrimination in the workplace and government’s got to do better at addressing those particular issues.”
EFF leader Julius Malema said women should be free in the land of their birth, explaining, “Being a woman is not a sign of being a less human being.”
During Women’s Day celebrations in the Western Cape, Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers visited the Conifers Infill Development in Malibu Village, in Blue Downs.
There he met 42-year-old Faith Mabena who said she got into the construction industry by chance after completing two homes in Silvertown.
Since 2017 Mabena had completed 91 Financed Linked Individual Subsidy units as part of a project her company, Nokhanya Services was awarded in that year worth R36 million.
Mabena said a lot of work went into the project including solar panels, tiling and building work. She said, though, that the best part was always handing over the keys to new owners.
Simmers praised the impressive gains that Mabena had made within a short amount of time.
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