Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women Budget Speech & responses by DA and IFP


11 May 2016

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Ms Susan Shabangu, gave her speech on 11 May 2016.


Honourable House Chairperson;
Honourable Acting Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Women;
Honourable Members;
Distinguished Guests;

Women have played a significant role towards the emancipation of South Africa. As early as 1913, women demonstrated against carrying passes through major campaigns. These passes were instruments of white supremacy directed at attacking the right to the dignity of black people in general and women in particular.

Omama bafaka igxathu elikhulu ekuthenini kube nenkululeko lapha eNingizimu Afrika. Kusukela kunyaka ka 1913, omama bazozonke izinhlanga babhukula belwela ukuthi bangahambi bephethe amapasi ngoba bangabomdabu ezweni lobabomkhulu babo.

This campaign stands as it was an early outbreak of militant women's resistance. It was also costly to the personal lives of participants. It also set the tone for later anti-pass actions by militant African women such as the Defiance Campaign of 1952, the adoption of the Women`s Charter of 1954 as well as the historic August 9 1956 Women’s March.

Lomkhankaso womama waka 1913 ungomunye wokuqala wo mama owawuyingxenye yokulwela inkululeko yabampisholo kuleli. Balwa omama kunzima bahlukumezeka kakhulu ezimpilweni zabo. Lokho kwabenza ukuthi uma sekulwelwa amapasi ngeminyaka yo 1950 ukuya phambili nabo belu bajoyine amadelakufa ka 1952, kanye futhi nohla lwemiqulu olufuna kuhlonishwe amalungelo omama ka 1954 kanye nokhukhulelangoqo wemashi yomama eyayibhekise kuhulumeni Ka Strijdom ngo 1956.
Accordingly this year marks the 60th Anniversary of the 1956 women’s march to the seat of government, the Union Buildings. It is our aim to mobilise tens of thousands of women to join us we celebrate under the theme: “Women United in moving South Africa forward

Kulonyaka sigubha iminyaka engamashumi ayisithupha alokhukhulelangoqo wemashi yomama. Siyoyigubha ngendikimba ethi, “omama babumbhene ekuseni iningizimu Afrika phambili”

We pay tribute to the gallant women fighters, izithwalandwe, like, Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophia Williams – De Bruyn, Dorothy Nyembe, Albertina Sisulu, Ruth Mompati, Bertha Gxowa, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and many unsung heroines of our struggle who embarked on a movement that emerged victorious against the gross human rights violations of the apartheid state. 

We recognise women stalwarts and veterans who join us today for this budget vote. They are sitting in the gallery of a democratic parliament – a product of their blood and sweat.       In this regard I must also pay tribute to the 1976 young women, represented among others by Sibongile Mkhabela for the heroic role they played in being torch bearers for the cause of women during the worst period of repression in our country. It was women who bore the brunt of the acts of terror where mothers suffered the pain of not knowing where their children were.

As we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Constitution of our country, whose expansive Bill of Rights promotes equality, non-racialism and non-sexism. This means my department has enormous   responsibility to monitor that women have the right to full opportunities for employment with equal pay and possibilities of promotion in all spheres of work; equal pay for equal work; equal rights in relation to property, land rights, marriage and children; paid maternity leave for women, childcare for working mothers, and compulsory education for all South African children, as espoused in the Women`s Charter of 1954.

In this regard, let me acknowledge members of the South African Chapter of the International Association who are in the gallery. I am also pleased to recognize the Members of Parliament from Malawi.

I would like to applaud the eleven women who were recipients of the National Orders conferred by H.E. President Zuma on Freedom Day this year.

  Even though we have laid the building blocks for women empowerment we must not be lulled into a false sense of complacency. Many women continue to be disempowered by the structural and systemic triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. It is 22 years since we attained our democracy inheriting a deeply divided society as a result of years of patriarchy, apartheid, sexism and racism. 

Today I stand here on the shoulders of courageous women, as an embodiment of their triumph in the face of great adversity as I present Budget Vote 13. Last year I indicated that it is our intention to reconfigure and restructure my department in a manner that contributes meaningfully to the achievement of the National Development Plan and to carry out various implementation strategies that support this critical plan.

The total budget allocation for 2016/17 is One hundred and Ninety Six million, Eight Hundred and Eighty Seven Thousand Rands (R 196 887 million) which includes Sixty Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety One Thousand Rands (R 69.891 million) for transfer to Commission for Gender Equality which leaves the Department with One hundred and Twenty Six million, Nine Hundred and Ninety Six Thousand Rands (R126, 996 million).

This budget is tabled following the organisational transformation and realignment of the department in order to deliver on the revised mandate and redefined strategic plan.

The challenge, however, remains the inadequate budget allocation which has a bearing on our ability to deliver on our mandate. Accordingly, we will continue to agitate for additional funding to enable the progressive delivery of our core business.

The single branch responsible for women’s empowerment has been transformed into two branches. The first is the Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment Branch, whose responsibility is the mainstreaming of women in the socio-economic environment and the second is the Policy, Stakeholder Coordination and Knowledge Management Branch, whose responsibility is research, policy , information and knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation advocacy, outreach and stakeholder engagement.

In 2014, H.E President Zuma, recognising the centrality of economic empowerment to women’s emancipation, announced that he would launch a report on the status of women in the economy. He then directed the department …”to be ready to produce a report to be launched in August  (2015)…”

This led to the launch by the President of the Report on the Status of Women in the South African Economy which was followed by his directive when he said, and I quote:
“…from now on, government (should) put the inclusion of women at the centre of all our plans. This is more so in the case of government’s plans aimed at growing the economy and creating jobs. As a first step towards the implementation of this directive, the government’s Nine Point Plan ….and the operation Phakisa initiatives we have launched and those still to be launched, should have an explicit gender dimension.”

He repeated the same injunction in his Budget Vote this year. This directive is significant for the socio-economic empowerment of women, and the focus of our Department, placing monitoring and evaluation central to the process. Therefore we expect the economic cluster departments to submit reports as per the directive of the President.

The department will engage various stakeholders, supported by experts, to develop a Gender Responsive Budgeting framework while also creating internal capacity to do this work.

Last year the Department undertook a visit to the Meatlands project in Colesburg and Hanover, in the Northern Cape. These places are afflicted by poverty, unemployment, and inequality. The purpose was to assess the feasibility of a project for women empowerment in agriculture, specifically in ‘Feedlot’. The project was found to be feasible and had a potential to provide a stake for women in this business. An application has been made to the Jobs Fund.

Our partnership with Cell C continues to focus on the advancement of the girl child. This partnership   an enhanced  the initiative to a more programmatic approach. Their programme now includes the Girl Bursary Fund, the Girl Child Alumni; and the Girl Child Institute of Mentorship. This year on 26 May 2016 in partnership with Cell C, I will be hosting 60 young girls as part of the Cell C programme campaign. Accordingly I call upon corporate South Africa in its entirety to join us in implementing the Take a Girl Child to work, by translating the one day initiative into sustainable and meaningful exposure for the girl child.

The department continues to work with UWESO on the Techno-girl programme aimed at enhancing young women’s skills in science, technology engineering and maths. The programme has given an opportunity to over 9000 girls to participate in job shadowing in the STEM fields.

The mandate of the Department includes public education and awareness, celebration and commemoration of national and international days on women. Last year on the 9th of August South Africa celebrated the 59th Anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March in Sasolburg under the theme: “Women, United in Moving South Africa Forward. During this day The President launched the Status of Women in the South African Economy Report, where more than 25 000 women were in attendance while many others watched  beyond South Africa.

In celebrating  women’s month, we also had cross border partnerships with Zimbabwe in  promoting cross border trade.  We collaborated with the Department of Small Business Development, the Limpopo Province and the Government of Zimbabwe to organise a Trade Fair and Expo for women from both countries.

Further, we partnered with Government of Lesotho, the Free State Provincial Government and held a symposium addressing the cross border movement of women particular domestic works who are abused and affected by human trafficking. We welcome the Department of Home Affairs in regularising the process of work permits that will hopefully minimize exploitation and abuse of Lesotho domestic workers and reduce the human trafficking. This put an end to the dehumanisation of the sister peoples of Lesotho.

The Department will continue to work in partnership with other Departments to implement the Prevention Pillar in the Integrated Programme of Action on Violence Against Women and Children by undertaking initiatives towards changing attitudes and behaviour.

The Department in collaboration with Stats SA identified communities with high prevalence of violence against women and children, that included Naauwpoort in the North West, Nyanga in the Western Cape and Nqeshe in the Eastern Cape.  Hence our campaign on 16 Days of Activism on No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign was held at Naauwpoort. The safety of the elderly women and children remain compromised, therefore in partnership with the Province and the Private Sector will contribute towards the safety of elderly women by providing secure doors and windows.

The campaigns, “#365Days and the “CountMeIn” continue to address and raise awareness on violence against women and children. The on-going, violence, sexual harassment, and intimidation against women especially in the institution of higher learner is a cause for concern. Society must support the call by students in fighting the scourge. We will continue to work in partnership with faith based organisations, SANAC Men’s sector, men’s organisation and civil society to be counted-in in the fight against violence against women

While violence against women remains a serious concern, it is important to note that the Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCC) are seen as a best practice model there is therefore a need to expand them to other parts of the country. This will be complemented by the National Dialogues on Violence Against Women and Children which should have been initiated last year, but due to financial constraints we could not. 

According to the GCIS media coverage analysis of the 16 Days Campaign reveals that social media coverage reached 60 000 people, with 2000 retweets, 50% of which were in South Africa and the other 50% Australia, Asia, America, UK, and various African countries. Media coverage was also in print media, broadcast news and actuality programmes.

Currently with the DPSA we are working on reviewing the effectiveness of gender focal points in government to strengthen their effectiveness in ensuring government programmes are mainstreamed.

Linked to our own 60th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s march, CSW was celebrating its own 60th anniversary of the establishment. Another milestone achieved during this sitting was the adoption of the SADC sponsored resolution on Women HIV and AIDS and the girl child after years of negotiating. In addition, the UN CSW has launched a Youth Forumo this end, we will partner with the NYDA in taking forward this process.

Last year we committed to meet our international obligations; we are pleased to inform you that this has been achieved. Cabinet approved the CEDAW report in November 2015 and we urge Parliament to complete its consideration to the report depositing with the UN-CEDAW committee.

In January 2016 during the AU heads of state Summit, the high level AU Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Gender and Women Affairs was established to strengthen the implementation of women issues within all AU. South Africa played an important role in this regard.

We have also presented the Combined Second Periodic Report under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights to the African Charter on the Rights. The commission commended South Africa by consistently leading human rights efforts on the continent.

The Committee raised a concern about the women’s representation in the Western Cape where there are only four women in the executive council including the Premier. This continuous to disadvantage South Africa, the chair wanted to know what remedies are being taken by SA to ensuring WC complies with our laws and policies for gender equality.

It cannot be correct that, at this critical time, when the rest of the provinces have adopted a progressive stance on women parity, the Western Cape continues to be an exception, pursuing a reactionary stance that is not in sync with the democratic dispensation.

I urge all political parties to adhere to the Municipal Infrastructure Act in the upcoming Local Government Elections. I call on them to ensure that the representation of women does meet the 50/50 requirements of this Act. Women cannot continue to be voting fodder, forever voting men into power and being at the receiving end of the power of men.

Finally in order to ensure that the principle of 50/50 representation is regulated, my Department will be working with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to include parity principle in the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (PEPUDA), as a mechanism towards a gender equal society. Malibongwe igama lamakhosikzai Malibgonwe! Together, Moving South Africa Forward! I thank you



Remarks by the Hon. Ms LL van der Merwe, IFP MP

Agbare Voorsitter –

Let me at the outset state that I wish to pay tribute, to the brave students, of Rhodes University, who recently spoke-out against the rape culture at their campus. We applaud them, not only for their bravery, but also their activism.

However, our collective fight against gender-based violence has been dealt a severe blow by the recent utterances of Justice Jansen. We join our nation in its collective outrage. I too, have, on behalf of the IFP, submitted an affidavit to the JSC, asking them, to deal decisively with this matter.

Hon. House Chair, during the past year, more than 53 000 women were victims of abuse or rape. This amounts to approximately 147 cases, per day in the past year.

It remains an appalling state of affairs, that each year we come to this podium, to debate this budget without being able to report on any progress in our fight against gender-based violence. It is time to admit, that Government’s approach to this crisis, is completely ineffective.

Then, we must ask ourselves the question: if this, is truly, a caring Government, why do we ignore their plight of the millions of schoolgirls, who miss a week of school each month, because they do not have access to sanitary products?
Honourable Minister, it cannot be that we continue to label sanitary products as luxury goods. We call on Government to reclassify women’s hygiene products as necessities, therefore exempting them from VAT or what is referred to as “tampon tax”. Your Department, must take the lead in this regard.
But let me make it clear. Removing VAT from these products might be a step in the right direction, but the IFP calls for the provision of free sanitary pads for those who cannot afford it. It is possible.

Our Government spends millions on the provision of free condoms, even flavoured ones. Yet, our girls are deprived of their dignity, and education. Let us declare 2016, the year, in which we right this wrong!

Chairperson, this Department receives a miniscule budget.

But to make matters worse, the bulk of this budget, more than 60% of it will be spent on administration, leaving less than R40m for this Department, to achieve, its core goals.

If we consider these numbers, it is clear that the system is failing us.

Let me also state, that we cannot simply claim that we have succeed in empowering women, just because we have more women in Parliament and Cabinet. This does not reflect our reality.

In reality, women are not safe in their own homes, and in their own communities. In reality, women still bear the brunt of poverty and many in rural areas remain excluded from the economy.

Minister, this must change. Despite your mini budget, you and your Department must use every cent to effect change. And you must become a strong voice for our women.

We want to hear you give guidance on the ‘blesser’ phenomenon, sugar daddies and teenage pregnancies. We want to hear you give guidance when President Zuma claims that women are too sensitive, when they mistake compliments for sexual harassment. We want you to take a more aggressive approach in holding to account Departments and Entities that fail our women.

But for this to happen, this Department must become more than an employment agency. We need a ‘back to basics’ approach. We need to spend less time on talkshops, workshops and conferences.

We need to focus on ensuring that this Department’s monitoring and evaluation tool is finalized as matter of urgency. And we must ensure that gender focal points at the various levels of government are operational.

In conclusion, Hon. Chair, we have made some strides in our collective pursuit of women’s empowerment and gender equality. But we still have a long road to walk.

I thank you.

The ANC governs like women’s lives don’t matter: Nomsa Marchesi DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities

Speaker, I would like to dedicate this budget speech to the Rhodes University rape victims and all students that have experienced sexual harassment in a place of learning.

South African women have always played a prominent role in the struggle for justice and equal rights.

Speaker, from the 1956 march to the Union Building, fast forward 20 years from the birth of democracy to now and we are seeing protests led by women, from the #FeesMustFall to the current #RapeMustFall movements, fighting for the same dignity that they are denied even now.

To address these issues, we must not ask what has changed, but rather what has remained the same.

Common ground in protests around the country is that the judicial system has failed them; the government of the day has failed them and educational institutions have failed them.

Speaker, these bodies that are said to protect society are not being held accountable to resolve these matters, but instead shift the responsibility on to one another, covering their own backs.

And by slapping the students with the court order the Vice Chancellor is gagging his students.

You can’t fight fire with fire!

Speaker, at the height of the protest at Rhodes University, the ANC sent the Minister of smallanyana skeletons, Minister Bathabile Dlamini, who went to the University and was shunned by students.

That is a clear indication that the youth does not trust the ANC government any longer to provide aid and support. This ANC government has similarly long lost credibility.

As a result, social media has become the only platform where students can voice their frustration and pain at injustice.

What is happening in Rhodes University is not unique: it is happening in other Universities as well, but is swept under the carpet. These protests are a mirror image reflecting the plight of women in our society.

The role of the Department of Women in the Presidency should be to address these societal ills. It should be addressing the gaps within our legislation in relation to sexual offence, evaluating the ability of SAPS to deal with victims of sexual assault, and improving the policies relating to gender-based violence within institutions of learning.

But Speaker, the Minister will say the Department is under-funded.

This Department has been allocated a R127 million by the National Treasury. Unfortunately, 70% of this budget has been allocated to Administration for the Minister to secure jobs for fellow comrades.

What use is spending 70% of the Department’s budget on Administration and allocate 71% of personnel to Administration?

14.5% of the budget has been allocated to the second programme of Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment, with 13% personnel.

And the other 18% is allocated to the third and final programme, being Policy, Stakeholder Coordination and the Knowledge Management Programme where, 16% of the personnel are allocated. The two latter programmes have the potential to change the lives of women for better, yet they has been given the short end of the stick.

To add insult to injury, this Department spends R9 Million per annum for rent towards a three floor semi-dilapidated old building, while the staggering statistics of sexual and domestic abuse continue to escalate.

The priorities of this Department are skewed. Women are being failed by this ANC Government.

Added to this, the Commission for Gender equality is allocated a mere R69.891 Million, far less than what other Chapter 9 Institutions receive. For example, the Public Protector, who receives R262.3 Million and the South African Human Rights Commission, which receives R153.5 Million. This affirms that this Government has no regard for women’s rights.

Is this because CGE advocates for women?

Speaker, we are tired of rhetoric.

As a committee we have continuously asked for the completion and a speedy implementation of the Gender Mainstreaming Framework and the Gender Responsive Budgeting Framework in all spheres of Government.

Gender Focal Points staffing is not uniform in government departments; and it is superficial at best. These staff members need to be given increased responsibilities and greater areas of influence instead of being placed as mere coordinators for women’s events.

We are still waiting for the Gender Based Violence National Strategic Plan which the Minister shelved.

This Budget debate was a chance for her to demonstrate a real commitment to fairness and equality to shared prosperity. She has failed yet again.

I thank you.

The ANC perpetuates injustices against women in South Africa: Denise Robinson DA Shadow Minister of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities

Honourable Chairperson, Molweni Nonke

Debating Vote 13 allows us to reflect on the status of women’s rights – human rights – guaranteed by the architects of our Constitution, including the late DENE SMUTS whom I honour today for her devotion to constitutionalism and gender equality.

The mandate of the Department of Women in the Presidency is to drive an agenda of women’s socio-economic empowerment and rights, to champion gender equality, and reduce the patriarchal stranglehold that still exists.
It receives a budgetary allocation of R196 million for the 2016/17 financial year. Of this R69,9 million is transferred to the Commission for Gender Equality, leaving the department with a small operating budget of R127m. Is this small amount perhaps indicative of the attitude of society to women?

The CGE’s budget is significantly smaller than that of the SAHRC and the Public Protector – all institutions with the specific function of bolstering Constitutionalism, yet the CGE is expected to render a service nationally and provincially with a fraction of the budget and staff compliment of the other Chapter 9’s.

The CGE is obliged to promote respect for gender equality and make recommendations on any legislation affecting the status of women. It must support any legislative reform which could curb the numerous incidents of rape, abuse and domestic violence; the spate of attacks on young girls, and coercion into early marriage where perpetrators attempt to justify their unlawful conduct by invoking the custom of ukuthwala. Patriarchal attitudes of entitlement to sexual favours still abound.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other harmful traditional practices are still very evident in deep rural areas. So is the plight of widows who are often thrown out of their homes and left to die, without dignity or compassion. Where is “ubuntu” in this case?

The frequent attacks on LGBTI citizens and instances of ‘corrective rape’ inflicted on lesbian women are an issue we must urgently address.

However, we must address the lack of performance and focus by the CGE and DoW, resulting in a lack of confidence in the Department.

They could be more efficient if they narrowed their focus, with the CGE doing oversight of Thutuzela Centres, SAPS and Courts for example, and the DoW monitoring the implementation of gender responsive budgeting, distribution of land in communal areas and establishing strategic partnerships to address fiscal constraints.

While we have made many gains in relation to gender equality, these relate largely to formal equality – women’s political representation, equal legal status, and legislative frameworks are being put in place. But we still have to strive for substantive equality, where women form an equal part of the economy, and gain access to land, education, healthcare, and public services.

Unfortunately, our senior ministers and leading political women do not set a good example.

Minister Dhlamini, the leader of the ANCWL leads the chorus in defending the president but ignores the hurt and humiliation of women under the patriarchal yoke – remember how she supported Zuma rather than standing up for her former colleague Vytjie Mentor, excusing the “small skeletons” that should not be brought into the public domain? The ANCWL is often accused of being Pro-Zuma and not pro-women: remember the rape trial of President Zuma in 2006!

The victim was forced to leave the country due to the harassment by the League and other women – where is our solidarity to sisters who are in distress?
The Minister for Women, Susan Shabangu shows no respect to fellow female parliamentarians when she refers to them in denigrating tones as “Barbie Dolls”.

I quote from a letter to the editor in the Cape Times:
“In this country, the move by the government to place millions of rural women under the rule of traditional leaders, is a travesty of the fundamental claim to citizenship as South Africans, if we want a modern participatory democracy.

The continuing acquiescence of the ANC Women’s League speaks volumes of the ultra-conservative patriarchal adherence to all things ANC.”

The official activities of the wives of the President and Deputy President are no longer reported, yet their budget stands at a staggering R88.2 million since 2009, including this budget.

For that vast amount, we could have provided:
• 8 years of monthly disability grants to 612 women;
• 8 years of care dependency grants to the women who are the main caregivers of 612 permanently disabled children;
• 8 years of Older Persons grants for 612 women over the age of 60;
• Up to 173 full scholarships for young women to attend UCT for a four-year degree, including residence and meals;
• R1 million in grants to 88 women-owned enterprises with to develop their businesses.

We could have employed FORTY full-time grade 1 nurses in midwifery for 8 years at state clinics. These midwives could have assisted in the births of 192 000 babies.

What a difference this could have made to the lives of ordinary women who need our assistance.

21 years ago, we thought we had begun an era of optimism in the Rainbow Nation where tolerance was promoted, led by the late Madiba, Archbishop Tutu and other visionaries.

Sadly, it is no more, with constant assaults on our constitutional values led by none other than the president, flouting the rulings of the Public Protector and cheered on by the women in his caucus when it is quite obvious to all that he is not fit to hold high office.

No wonder the women of Tembisa and Diepsloot say they will vote for the DA, whose caring and values of Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity will mean more to them than the values of those who preen themselves and paint their nails in Parliament while ignoring those who are poor and lack basic services.

Pambile abafazi, Pambile
Pambile DA Pambile
Ndi ya bulela Enkosi


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