Remarks by the Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Hon (MP) Zou Kota-Fredericks on the occasion of the launch of the NHBRC Transformation Charter and Commemorating International Women’s Day, Cedarwood, Woodmead, JHB
This day is indeed a dream come true on our journey to economic emancipation of women…
Programme Director Acting CEO of NHBRC Acting Chairperson President of SAWIC Honourable guests
Ladies and gentlemen happy International Women’s Day to all who are present here, I greet you all this morning in this year of Radical Economic Transformation, a year which calls upon us to double our efforts in improving the lives of all South Africans particularly women, for the better.
It is critical to note that the Radical Economic Transformation Programme is not a standalone programme. It has no special budget. It is an integral part of each and every department and all entities of government. . It calls on all of us to revisit the preferential procurement Act so as to respond adequately to this issue. NHBRC is doing exactly that today.
As the Department of Human Settlements led by our Honorable Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, we are a step ahead on this matter with our 30% set aside for women contractor and 10% set aside for the youth. I am glad that this will be legal on 1st April.
That is why we are excited about this NHBRC Transformation Charter. It is a step in the positive direction as NHBRC is a Human Settlements institution. We congratulate you for job well done.
Allow me programme director to remind all of us that President Jacob Zuma in the state of the national address announced that this year we are making 100 years of one of our icons in the struggle for a democratic South Africa, Cde Oliver Reginald Tambo who was president of the ANC.
He strongly believed in the emancipation of women. In his memory we will continue making economic empowerment of women high on the agenda of Human Settlements. Emancipation or economic empowerment of women cuts across all spheres of government, private sector and in all sectors of society.
This year we also mark 20 years of our historic constitution. A Blueprint that continues to say that there shall be no discrimination on the basis of gender, race or religion.
Ladies and gentlemen we are gathered here today as women in the Human Settlements Sector and by virtue of its nature it has for many years been dominated by men especially on the financial side.
Programme Director, in a bid to address economic transformation in the built environment, various spheres of government and related institutions have in the past implemented numerous empowerment projects, however some of the projects have not yielded the required results and the construction industry continues to fail in driving an effective gender equality process.
Black women are particularly under-represented with respect to ownership, control and the management of companies involved in the housing value chain as well as in terms of technical skills. The high unemployment rate, especially amongst the youth, heightens the need to create self-employment opportunities.
The concept of transformation and economic empowerment must be driven aggressively in this sector. It therefore becomes necessary to emphasize the strategic imperative and moral motivation of the need of structured and deliberate transformation of all components of the Human Settlements value chain.
Programme Director, in the line with this year’s theme for the International Women’s Day Celebrations “Be Bold For Change”, we are here as women in the Human Settlements value chain to launch and endorse the NHBRC Transformation Charter.
This charter will contribute to radical economic transformation is this is not a standalone. This is a bold step towards the empowerment of vulnerable groups.
Chairperson, this charter is premised on the Broad-Based BEE Act (No 53 of 2003) (BBBEE Act) and the DTI Codes of Good Practice on BBBEE and lays the basis for the NHBRC to address inequalities and unlock the sector’s potential.
Programme Director, in conclusion I would like to take this opportunity to extend an invite to the women with us here today to our inaugural International Women’s Day Golf taking place in Cape Town. Officials from my office and the NHBRC are working together on this and I expect at least half of this room to be there.
Also, allow me ladies and gentlemen to thank GIBBS for being a reliable anchor in our work. May they grow from strength to strength and may we celebrate our women every day. Let us celebrate the International Women’s Day.
I thank you.