Gender Equality Initiatives by Department

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Trade and Industry

11 March 2002
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Meeting report

TRADE & INDUSTRY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE; JOINT MONITORING COMMITTEE ON IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY OF LIFE & STATUS OF WOMEN: JOINT MEETING
12 March 2002
GENDER EQUALITY INITIATIVES BY THE DEPARTMENT

Chairperson:

Dr R H Davies (ANC)

Relevant Documents:
 

SMME Women Support Initiatives Powerpoint presentation
Incubator Programme (Appendix 1)
Extract from Deputy Minister speech - August 2001 (Appendix 2)

SUMMARY
The Department briefed the Committee on its Gender Equality Policy Framework. Its wishes to mainstream gender equality objectives and institutionalise these concerns in the core business elements of the Department.

MINUTES
Ms Mmabatho Matiwane of the Department made the presentation (see document) which looked at the Department's gender equality policy framework and how this was being implemented through various internal and external programmes and initiatives. External support mechanisms and initiatives include the Technology for Women in Business (TWIB) project, and the South African Entrepreneurs Network (SAWEN) which specifically target women in business.

Discussion
Ms Botha (DP) thanked Ms Matiwane for her presentation. She referred to the graphs reflecting the provincial breakdown of women companies assisted by the Financial Incentives and Export Marketing and Investment Assistance programmes and noted that the Eastern Cape is not reflected. She also asked how the presenter intends linking the provinces to the resources as some provinces have a nil percentage.

Ms Matiwane said that not including the Eastern Cape had been a mistake. She thought that the women in the Eastern Cape are very active entrepeneurs and that it would be interesting to see how they benefit from all these policies. Regarding the second concern, she has established that there are women entrepreneurs but they do not have access to the resources. This is mainly due to previous prerequisites. She had tried to make use of the SMME desk, but it is not linked with women's businesses - thus all the more need for SAWEN.

An ANC committee member asked if the Technology for Women in Business (TWIB) project serves disadvantaged communities as well. The presentation refers to giving women skills, what skills are being referred to? What happens to women who have no skills at all? Would they support those women who do have and are willing to impart such knowledge to others. Ms Matiwane stated that Khula's women client base was increased to 88% at the end of last year, what are the figures involved here? Regarding the graph reflecting woman-owned companies benefitting from financial incentives, on what figures are these percentages based?

On TWIB, Ms Matiwane said that they do want to get involved with women who can impart knowledge to others as they can be the service providers in educating others in business.
Regarding Khula, she has the same problems and questions that she would also like to be answered. Unfortunately, due to bureaucracy, she cannot find a person on her level that has a direct relationship with the CEO. She had asked for their reports and had run into difficulty in obtaining them, mainly caused by attitudes. However, she continued, there are some organisations such as Ntsika that are willing to give her the required information. She will also try to use the Office of the Minister to recruit this information.

A committee member asked for more information on Ntsika's intervention in developing skills and expertise in the arts and crafts sector as there are other fields that need development too. Are they assisting people with managerial skills and women who open businesses and work at a loss, what type of training are they giving such people? The women companies that are receiving financial incentives, what are these companies producing and what type of incentives are being given?

Ms Matiwane agreed that they need to find out the tangibles about what Ntsika has been doing. Khula, for example, claimed to have equipped women to draw up a business plan but what about the practical part thereof in getting the ball in motion. Ntsika deals with this, as their mandate has been to focus around market access. She pointed out that the type of companies whose businesses are really escalating are those in tourism, arts and crafts. She did not comment on the other concerns.

Ms J Witbooi (NNP) asked whether the presenter could comment on how many sexual harassment cases there were and how these policies are being implemented. She asked how Khula's budget was being monitored in terms of them carrying out the gender mandate. She also asked if Ms Matiwane's budget was workshop or mainstream-orientated. She pointed out that HIV/AIDS is equally as important an issue as gender. How is it possible to cope with both demanding issues and how do they avoid focussing too much on the one to the detriment of the other?

Ms Matiwane replied that because their human resource department had instituted penalties for those found guilty of sexual harassment, this had acted as an effective deterrent. Another important factor was that the Director General fully supported the measures taken. She said that what is now challenging to them is that they are having to face cases of sexual harassment levelled by men against women. In terms of the budget, the DTI budget is not gender sensitive. For example, although Khula has submitted its report, once one goes into the detail, you will find that the reports given do not coincide with what is happening in reality. Hence they are now working with the agency divisions as to how they would want the report to be structured. Regarding her budget, she does not really have one, as her budget is more workshop orientated; it does not cover big events. With the result that they have to piggy-back on existing programmes and have to rely on donations from the private sector. She said that HIV/AIDS and counselling issues are no longer located in the Gender unit, thus they do not have a problem with striking a balance any longer.

Ms C September (ANC) commented that the Department had made successful steps to implementing the commitments that the government had made in 1996/95 post-Beijing. She suggested that the Unit get from government the relevant information around women issues. That they should look at policies targeting women and RDP commitments and legislation. For example, the Public Finance Management Act refers to gender.

Ms Matiwane said that the suggestion was practical and that she would see how to implement this.

Ms F Mohammed (ANC) asked how the DTI includes sustainable development in terms of the rural community.

Ms Matiwane answered that for rural women, the only initiative made to bring them on board, was by Khula. However, through SAWEN they hope to target rural areas. The strategy is to make interventions where "known" people have already been identified.

Regarding sustainability, government has already been asked to intervene, but this has been a hassle as monitoring mechanisms are required. She suggested that this is where parliamentarians who have constituencies can be of assistance, as they cannot be everywhere. Through working together and interaction, these issues can be addressed. She added that they all have the responsibility to ensure that such programmes impact on the destitute.

The Chairperson commented that the presentation should read "the women client base was increased by 88%", not "to 88%" as claimed by Khula. He commented that these figures cannot be true or very credible as the Khula presenters have always been all male. He said that it is clear that they need to set guidelines and mechanisms regarding the reports submitted. He suggested that they should draw on the experience of others achieved through research and not reinvent the wheel.

The Chairperson asked about the status of DTI in the provinces and how they communicate. He pointed out that, from the graph in the document, it seemed as though DTI had done nothing in Mpumalanga.

Ms Matiwane said that she hopes that Khula and the other relevant agencies come to the Committee and answers these concerns regarding the status of DTI in certain provinces as she is unable to answer them.

The Chair asked how they take the information regarding SADC regional intervention to the provinces to inform them. Further, what was the criteria for the selection of women who attended the World Women's Summit?

Ms Matiwane said regarding SADC, they have interaction with women organisations. She noted that the criteria are being reviewed in order for them to be more suitable. For example, the criteria presently makes it difficult for business people to participate and there is a requirement that 15% of costs be paid in.

Ms E Thabethe (ANC) asked how they the budget is influenced to focus more on gender.
Ms Matiwane said that the BEE needs to look at this more closely and see how they can engage around this issue.

A member commented that there are a number of agencies that are given funding for certain projects but these projects go nowhere and there are no monitoring mechanisms.

Ms Matiwane replied that she had already answered the monitoring concern and she would make a note of that issue.

Ms F Mohammed (ANC) said that in terms of the EU negotiations, what are their short and long term goals in capacitating women to get on board.

Ms Matiwane replied that with the BEE, there has been a new initiative where a forum will be established to engage on multilateral issues. Their short term strategy is to engage women around AGOA. As the majority of women are not aware of international trends and how these impact on their enterprises, this will be their long term strategy.
· · Sustainable and viable incubators
· Collaboration with existing stakeholders
· Emphasis on R&D
· Incubator sensitive to target groups
· Emphasis on manufacturing enterprises

 

Appendix 1:
Incubation Programme

Introduction and background.
 

The incubation programme is a programme that has been designed to contribute to the establishment of new enterprises and grow existing ones. This is done through provision of an environment within which these enterprises can operate from and access a range of business development services. These services include: Training, Technical Assistance, Product development and improvement.

Overall Objective
To identify and develop SMMEs to service identified market opportunities

Programme Purpose
To create a nurturing and conducive environment for SMMEs, from which they can operate and access support services to enable them to start and provide them with the opportunity to grow.

Services provided through incubation
Incubation - space provided to the enterprise from which it can operate from for the period of incubation. In the case of our programme the period is 18 months. It is anticipated that by the end of this period the enterprise will be self-sustaining or can operate on its own independently.

Technical Assistance - this is a range of services that the enterprise can access from the incubator These include mentorship, business counseling /advise, business planning, company audit, information, productivity and quality assurance, marketing, finance sourcing, and product development and improvement.

Training - this includes entrepreneurship and business management training.

Current incubators
See attachment

Collaboration with other stakeholders
-
This programme has not been established in isolation of other programmes and initiatives. Emphasis has been put on private public partnerships. The programme is interfacing with the GODISA programme, which is a programme developed and facilitated by the Department of Arts Culture Science and Technology. Academic institutions, such as technical colleges, have also come a long way in hosting the programme from the point of view that they already have technology and skills necessary for incubation.
- Other initiatives supported include the Matshabeng Local Industrial Park (Free State), which is an initiative driven by the Provincial SMME Desk, District Municipality, and Anglo-American.

Guiding Principles:
Encourage Innovation
 

Appendix 2:
Extract from: Message from Deputy Minister Lindiwe Hendricks on the Occasion of National Women's Day 9th August 2001
 

If we look internally much progress has been made to transform the Department in terms of Race and Gender representation particularly at Senior Management level. Starting with our "Breaking the Silence Workshop" which we held as the DTI women on the 28th of February 2000, which set the stage for continuous consultations and networking among DIT officials and devising mechanisms that will engage senior management to address issues affecting women. That was followed by a campaign referred to as "DTI Women Soaring to Greater Heights" where we held a seminar on the 1st of September 2000 aimed at assessing how the DTI, in particular women officials, can further engage and prepare themselves for advancing women's representation in senior and strategic management level. Finally a DTI Women Management Bosberaad was held in December 2000 attended by all senior Women Managers. What was interesting about this event was the number of women who were new in the DTI occupying very senior positions including DDG, CEO's, Chief Director and Directors. Luminary speakers like the founder member and Patron of the Women's Development Bank, Mrs. Zanele Mbeki, Dr. E Konergay, and Minister Alec Erwin addressed this gathering. The outcome of this meeting was a proposal by the Gender Officer, adopted by all the women, calling for the establishment of the DTI Women's Forum. After lengthy consultations both internally and externally this forum will finally be launched on the 24 August 2001 where we expect the Deputy President, Mr. Jacob Zuma to be our guest of honour. We ended the year 2000 with "DTI Women End of the Year Gathering", again attended by the majority of DTI women officials where we reported back to the women on progress made, shared views about future plans and determining future strategies for dealing with the new challenges. On the same evening we introduced to all the women the senior women managers who had recently been appointed. The main emphasis at this meeting was to take up new issues and begin to involve men as part of the overall transformation strategy. This meeting also identified the pressing need of looking outside the DTI and mobilising South African Women Entrepreneurs.

Looking externally the DTI has continued to be engaged in various initiatives aimed at gender mainstreaming. Amongst these we could mention the hosting of events such as the Global Economic Summit of Women 2000, the LDC Workshop on Mainstreaming Gender on the Development Strategies and several workshops and seminars attended and facilitated by the Gender Programme Manager in SADC and the region. Finally through DTI and its family of institutions various support mechanisms and initiatives have been developed to support and strengthen women's enterprises. Technology for Women in Business (TWIB), and the South African Entrepreneurs Network (SAWEN) are two major projects targeting specifically women in business. Whilst all the above may prove that we are making progress the struggle for the emancipation of women must continue. The challenge that we are facing is to break down the taboos, and ensure that gender equality and the emancipation of women do not remain "a women's only" struggle.

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