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On this day in 1956, some 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings to protest against legislation meant to place more controls on the movement of black women in urban areas. Well understood, the laws were meant to constrain women’s abilities and participation as free social and economic agents in urban areas where work and commercial activity happened. It is in this context that we must remember this day, and continue to forge ahead with the efforts of those women. In government, we must carry this spirit in our work.
During our budget vote speech delivered to Parliament on 19 May 2022, I said, “We have thousands of SMMEs throughout our townships, rural areas and small dorpies offering authentic creative experiences throughout our tourism value chain. These SMMEs are crucial for our goal of inclusive sustainable tourism and help spread the benefits of tourism to communities outside the traditional tourism “hotspots”.
Specifically, I committed that, “we will implement the Women in Tourism (WiT) Programme as a platform to drive initiatives that support the development and empowerment of women in the tourism sector. This platform recognises the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs who are often found at the bottom end of the tourism economic value chain”. In this regard, we will this Women’s month report on the progress of this work in the implementation of the WiT Programme, and what further engagements we need to further support women.
I also committed that “We will continue to implement the Tourism Incentive Programme to stimulate the growth, development and transformation of the South African tourism sector. In line with our mission to employ strategic partnerships we continue to collaborate with other government departments and entities in the roll out of the incentive programme. In this regard, formal partnerships through memoranda of agreement are already in place with entities such as the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA). I am happy to recognise that many of these entities are led by women, and thus, ideally position us to gain quicker traction in our efforts.
We know that the physical and sexual violence perpetrated against women finds space and expression partly because women continue to be economically dependent on their abusers. Our work and commitment to women’s economic empowerment is central. Government’s economic programs must be unashamedly feminist.
On gender base violence, we must reiterate government’s call to. communities to work with the police to ensure that perpetrators of violence are apprehended and prosecuted. Rapists have no place in our society. We urge communities not to shelter criminals in their midst.
According to a new legal provision that came into effect on 31 July 2022, it is now a crime not to report to authorities when we have knowledge, reasonable belief or suspicion that a sexual offence has been committed against a vulnerable person. The new law is part of the three laws that came into effect this year to strengthen the fight against gender-based violence and offer greater support and protection to survivors.
Citizens are reminded that all tip-offs received by the SAPS Crime Stop contact centre are treated with confidentiality. To report any crime, call 086 00 10111 or report via the MySAPS App.
May the struggle for women’s emancipation and leadership never falter!
Issued by Ministry of Tourism
Steve Motale on 0837840719
MLO Mpumzi Zuzile on 0725509019 / 0609559035
Sunnyside, Pretoria, 0001