Ramaphosa calls on more to be done in addressing gender equality

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African National Congress President Cyril Ramaphosa says more needs to be done to address gender parity in the country and within the ANC.

Ramaphosa says while much work has been done, more women need to be appointed to positions of leadership.

He delivered the party’s political report at the party’s 55th national conference in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg on Friday. The conference is expected to elect new leadership and review past policies.

Only two women have been nominated ahead of the conference – both for the position of Deputy Secretary-General.

Ramaphosa had this message for delegates: “We still have a long way to go to achieve equality and representation across all institutions in our society. Most notable among the challenges that impede the quest for gender equality is the economic participation of women. Much work is underway to promote the economic empowerment of the women of our country.”

“Government has set a target of 40% of public procurement for women-owned and managed businesses although progress towards this is uneven between departments we will get there because this is a must. We have to empower the women of our country.”

ANC 55th National Conference I ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa’s opening speech:

Ramaphosa says government has made efforts towards providing employment opportunities for young people and sectors which were most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Conference will resume on Saturday morning for a closed session. Ramaphosa says the high levels of unemployment in the country continue to undermine the government’s efforts to eradicate poverty and threaten social stability.
He says unemployment among young people is the country’s greatest challenge.

“Recognizing that it would take for the country to recover from the pandemic, government launched an employment stimulus program to provide public and social employment opportunities. It also supports the livelihoods of people in sectors particularly badly affected by the pandemic such as the creative industries the small-scale farmers and the ECD practitioners.”

Ramaphosa says attempts to abolish policies such as Affirmative Action, Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment and Preferential Procurement must be strongly resisted.

He was delivering his Political Report at the ANC’s National Conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg. The policies have faced criticism over the years as benefiting only a small elite – but Ramaphosa says economic transformation cannot take place in the country without advancing the economic position of black people and female South Africans.

“We must resist all the calls to abandon our transformative economic policies or to defer the task of Broad-based Economic Empowerment. Now more than ever we need to undertake the task of empowerment with greater intensity and purpose”

Additional reporting by: Naledi Ngcobo