MAHIKENG, SOUTH AFRICA, Women are the primary beneficiaries of the South African government’s programmes aimed at fighting poverty, says Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi, who notes that basic services such as water, electricity, housing, roads, access to education and health have been extended to more communities each year since 1994, with women being key beneficiaries.

Addressing women law enforcement officers of North West Province Women in the provincial capital, Mahikeng, on Tuesday, he said women experienced change directly when they received services provided by the government in their communities.
The event was part of the Women’s Month celebrations.

“At the Department of Transport, part of our commitment towards promoting radical socio-economic transformation, is our continued prioritisation of women’s access to economic opportunities. We took decisions that all public entities in the transport sector must have specific allocated budgets for Women, Youth and People Living with Disabilities,” he said.

In capital projects, the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) had ensured the recruitment of local women, youth and people living with disabilities while the Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) had allocated 3.5 billion Rand (about 269 million US dollars) over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period for its Women In Rail Programme.

“We also are sponsoring women to be pilots and to study aeronautical engineering as well as to be rail safety inspectors. These women are selected from both rural and urban areas to study and change the face and the slowly transforming the transport sector,” Maswanganyi said.

In the current financial year, the department will fill vacancies of boards and executive position of all its entities with a bias towards women.

“SANRAL has revisited its contract model to comply with the 30 per cent set aside requirements for the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) regulations for sub-contracting which will continue to prioritise black youth, women, people with disabilities and people living in rural or underdeveloped areas, including townships,” he said.

The department will be convening Transformation Summits in various sectors of transport to explore further opportunities that will benefit the previously disadvantaged, particularly women, youth and people living with disabilities.

The department continued to evaluate and monitor the mandates of State-owned assets and enterprises to ensure that their social and economic mandates, including issues such as procurement, equity and transformation remain aligned to the economic transformation programme.

The department was about to complete a Transport Sector Gender Policy which would be instrumental in fast-tracking the transformation and gender parity agenda, he said.


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