African National Congress Women’s League in the Buffalo City Metro is on a drive to mobilise for women empowerment as part of helping women to get into the key sectors of South Africa’s economy through dialogues, development activism, that’s according to the Regional Spokesperson of the League’s Dr WB Rubusana Region Task Team, Cde Princess Faku.

Faku, who is an ANC Member of Parliament said the dialogues between the Premier of the Eastern Cape province who is also the Provincial Chairperson of the ANC, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane are a platform to mobilise for women empowerment and development for participation in all sectors of the South African economy.

“This ANCWL Public Dialogue provides us an ideal platform to strategize on how to best contribute to unlocking “women power” in the world’s most dynamic and consolidated economies that the ANCWL represents. This dynamism comes partly from the “women power” already being harnessed to deliver on the economic miracles this region has produced,” said Faku.

She said while the league salutes women participating in agriculture, transportation, textile, garment, Information Communication Technology, knowledge, communication hubs, retail services, micro, small, medium and macro entrepreneurs, the ANC and the ANCWL needed to do more to empower women and girls in every way so that they realize their own potential.

“Comrades, we need empowered women to work equally in all the productive sectors of our economy. Women must be all over. We need women in agriculture, manufacturing, services and technology sectors, in the higher echelons, the horizontal and vertical aspects of value and supply chains; in trade and investment networks; in finance—not only micro-finance— and in entrepreneurship at the local, national, sub regional, regional and global level, scale and scope,” said Faku.

For the start of the dialogues, the League billed some of the women in leading positions in the private and public sector to contribute ways to crack the glass ceiling.

Ms Andiswa Vikilahle, the Chief Financial Officer of the Eastern Cape Liquor Board said one of the important things to achieve women empowerment and was the investment on women to be able to contribute when they get opportunities.

“We dishonour each other, let’s give each other the credit we deserve as women. Let us unite and support each other big time as women. There is a certain level of thinking we need to elevate eco as individuals and as the province to embrace coexistence and feed off each other. We all have to run to the unknown that is better than what we are experiencing right now,” said Vikilahle.

Ms Nomfanelo Mondi, who is a candidate Technologist said the province needed to invest more resources into the development of professional engineers to increase from the current 5%, give them opportunities to prevent brain drain to other provinces.

“With the infrastructure backlog that we have as the province, we need to increase number of engineers to be in the top 3 from the current 5%. We are having infrastructure that is collapsing in the province while we have specialist engineers. Government needs to have a way of engaging specialist engineers in the process of infrastructure development. We have a problem in the sector where engineers don’t fill tender documents and yet we need them to develop our infrastructure,” said Mondi.

With regards to the brain drain affecting the province, Mondi said when young engineers from the province don’t get training opportunities in the province and get them in Johannesburg and Rustenburg, they are lost to those provinces and might never come back to the Eastern Cape.

She said the focus of women empowerment should be on empowering young women, give opportunities to qualified professionals and not make them subcontract from non-qualified businesspeople to do their work.

For accountant,Ms Nolitha Pietersen, empowering women starts with teaching girl children from households that this is not the men’s world only but a world for women too.

She said the province’s small businesses needed skills development to help them manage their businesses and contracts effectively.

“One of the challenges we have is that there is a lack of business management skill within businesses as some are ran for today to succeed for the immediate with no futuristic planning, no proper finance management. Some lack funding for their businesses,” said Pietersen, adding that late payment of service providers was a big problem for small businesses.

Former Frere Hospital CEO, Dr Rolene Wagner said there was a need for politicians and administrators to work together to drive development of women and the people in society broadly.

“Politicians and Administrators bring something to the table and if we work together, we can achieve a lot in our province. As senior managers we are expected to have technical capabilities to do our jobs, have emotional intelligence to understand how other people feel, have values that reflect inclusivity. Political leaders are elected by the people, have a responsibility to protect human rights, ensure that government programmes meet the needs of our people,” said Dr Wagner.

Premier Mabuyane welcomed all the inputs from the women saying these will help improve programmes in place to empower and develop women, ensure that they benefit from the programmes implemented by the ANC led government.

He said the province must create opportunities for local people so that they don’t leave because of lack of opportunities.

“Our programmes are focusing on improving investment rate, grow our economy, invest industrialisation, manufacturing and agriculture in the province. We have put in place policy instruments like Isiqalo, LRED. Government is reviewing Public Finance Management Act to make sure that it easy to use it to drive transformation and empowerment,” said Mabuyane, saying women have no limits under the ANC led government.

He said the ANC wants to end outward migration from the province by creating opportunities for the people of the province like expanding infrastructure investments, investing into the economy because people cannot stay where there are no opportunities.

Issued by :
ANCWL RTT (Dr WB Rubusana Region)

Enquiries :
Cde Princess Faku
ANCWL RTT Spokesperson (Dr WB Rubusana Region)
Mobile No :0788825232

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