Minister Bathabile Dlamini welcomes the Mid-Term Policy Statement
The Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, Minister Bathabile Dlamini, has lauded the mid-term policy statement delivered by the Finance Minister, MP Tito Mboweni. Following the address, Minister Dlamini said that “the policy statement demonstrates a profound commitment by government to transform the quality of the lives of the poor.”
“As we realise the President’s vision of Thuma Mina, and as we rebuild our country under a difficult economic and fiscal environment, it is imperative that women take precedence in all our decisions. If the Presidency is to achieve its vision of a society that realizes the socio-economic empowerment of women and the advancement of gender equality, the path we take towards faster and more inclusive economic growth must be premised on a principle of gender-responsive budgeting,” commented the Minister.
In the context of low growth and downwards economic outlook, it is women who are the bearers of the consequences. An efficient way of ensuring that South Africa transforms this status-quo is by mainstreaming a gender consciousness into all national initiatives that respond to the five measures announced by the President for economic growth stimulus, namely: growth enhancing economic reforms; (2) reprioritization of public spending; (3) infrastructure investment through the infrastructure Fund; (4) education and health; and (5) Municipal social infrastructure improvement.
The Minister highlights the allocation of more than 60% of non-interest expenditure in the medium term to education, health, social development and community development. “This decision evidences government’s commitment to the socio-economic development of those at the bottom of the ladder: the majority whom are single parent families headed by African women” emphasized the Minister.
The R668 million allocated to revitalize government-owned industrial parks in township areas is a further demonstration of government’s commitment to changing the lives of poor and working class women. Township economies are sustained by the informalised business ventures of women, through spaza shops, vetkoek stands, and second-hand clothing corners.
The Minister further supports the decision to zero-rate sanitary pads, bread flour and cake flour. “Concurrent to the provision of free sanitary pads to female learners, this decision will alleviate the burdens of women, and afford women the opportunity to reprioritize their funds for other developmental ventures” noted the Minister.
The Minister wishes to thank the Interdepartmental National Task Team that drafted the Sanitary Dignity Policy Framework. The team includes officials from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Department of Basic Education, Department of Higher Education and Training, Department of Social Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Small Business Development, Department of Water and Sanitation, Department of Correctional Services, Department of Science and Technology, Department Public Works, Statistics South Africa, Department of Health, Department of Environmental Affairs, and National Treasury. The Framework has also been reviewed by external international and national stakeholders to ensure that the distribution plan is in line with the needs of communities.
Lastly, as South Africa and the World emerge from the International Day of Rural Women on October 15, it is imperative that women are the primary beneficiaries of the transactions worth R16.2 billion reserved for emerging farmers through the Land Bank.
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