Granting access to land & protection: five promises Ramaphosa made on Women’s Day

11 August 2020 - 11:30 By Unathi Nkanjeni
President Cyril Ramaphosa said several interventions would be taken to ensure the economic inclusion of women.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said several interventions would be taken to ensure the economic inclusion of women.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to give women access to productive assets and ensure their safety is prioritised.

During his virtual Women's Day address, Ramaphosa said several bold interventions would be taken to ensure the economic inclusion of women.

Here are five promises the president made to women.

Supporting women-owned businesses

“The first action is to expand the access of women to economic opportunity. We will do this, among other things, by setting aside 40% of public procurement for women-owned businesses.”

“We now expect national departments to monitor and report on how many women have participated in each public procurement process. They will have to develop clear plans on how they will broaden women's participation over the next 12 months.”

Support small business operated by women

“The second action is to support women who operate small or micro-businesses, including in the informal sector. Lack of access to financial services and digital identification limits their ability to conduct business.

“Under Generation Equality, we will be supporting African Union (AU) member states in their drive to adopt digital IDs. We will engage the financial sector to strengthen efforts to make financial services accessible and affordable for women in SA.”

Give women access to land

“The third action is to speed the process of giving women access to productive assets such as land. We will ensure our own land reform process favours all historically disadvantaged people, including women, in getting land and the means to farm it.

“Of the R75m in Covid-19 relief earmarked for farming input vouchers, 53% of the beneficiaries will be rural women. We must ensure women subsistence and small-scale farmers continue to receive support beyond the lockdown. AU member states will put policies in place to increase women's ownership of land to 30%.”

Protect women at all cost

“Our fourth action is to ensure women are safe from gender-based violence in the workplace.

“Through Generation Equality, we will work at national and regional levels towards the ratification of the International Labour Organisation Convention on Violence and Harassment in the Workplace. The urgency of achieving gender equality has never been greater than now.”

Prioritising black women in industrial development

“The Industrial Development Corporation has directed a significant portion of its funding approvals to supporting youth and women-empowered businesses.

“We have prioritised black-owned and women-owned businesses in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE). There have been a number of success stories of women either starting businesses to produce PPE or modifying existing business operations.”

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