In his State of the Province Address (SOPA), Gauteng Premier David Makhura said “As we celebrate the centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu, we shall continue to place the struggle for gender equality and women’s emancipation at the centre of our programme of Transformation, Modernisation and Reindustrialisation.”
The Premier was speaking to members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in Johannesburg on Monday, 26 February 2018.
Makhura said the Gauteng Provincial Government programmes on women empowerment are comprehensive and integrated and are aimed at addressing the social, economic, political and institutional impediments to gender equality.
“Currently the Gauteng Provincial Government spends 23% of the goods and services budget on women owned businesses. We would like to achieve a target of 30% by 2019,” he echoed.
“Over the past three years, 108 000 women have also benefitted from employment opportunities in our public employment programmes, and 2 600 women have benefitted from business opportunities in the infrastructure, hospitality, tourism, cultural and creative industries. Women are also the primary beneficiaries of housing delivery, social security, health, and educational programmes of our government. For example, this year 54% of our bursary allocation has gone to female students,” he added.
Makhura also highlighted on the Welfare-to-Work programme and dignity packs affecting young mothers and girl children.
“We have introduced a programme which focuses on equipping young mothers with the necessary skills that will transition them from depending on child support grants to sustainable economic opportunities. Since 2014, 30 000 young mothers have been empowered to live independent and sustainable livelihoods,” said Makhura.
“In addition, we must ensure that the girl child stays in school. For this reason, we have provided 1.1 million girl learners with dignity packs and sanitary towels over the past three years. We have up-scaled this programme in partnership with civil society and the private sector to reach an additional 1 million girls over the next 12 months,” he added.
The Gauteng Premier applauded women owned cooperatives, majority of whom are in the townships, for producing dignity packs and school uniforms. These cooperatives have created more than 30 000 job opportunities.