Business skills for Gauteng women

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pretoria - To commemorate International Women’s Day, the Gauteng provincial government is hosting a Women’s Economic Empowerment Summit to connect women to business opportunities and skills development programmes.

The three-day summit, which ends on Friday at Nasrec Expo Centre in Soweto, is being held under the theme “Be bold for change: Radical Economic Transformation, empower a woman, empower a nation across the Gauteng City Region”.

It is aimed at opening up opportunities for women and bringing them into the mainstream economy by advising them on how to run their business, get funding and handle business failure. 

Addressing the summit, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said the provincial government is doing a lot to empower and improve the wellbeing of women in the province. 

Gauteng wants to ensure that women become major drivers and beneficiaries of the programme for radical social and economic transformation.

“Our bursary programme, administered by the Gauteng City Region Academy, just awarded 4 000 bursaries to the best performing township schools and out of that, 2 177 were awarded to young women. 

“In my own personal capacity, I run a trust where I educate 20 students. Thirteen of those are young women. 

“The provincial government also runs the Welfare to Work Programme, where we empower young women not to rely on social grants but to run their own businesses,” said Premier Makhura. 

The Premier said some of the most innovative businesses are run by women and all they need is support. 

“During women’s month in August, we will give recognition awards to women to acknowledge their excellence in business, government and civil society. Be ready and prepared for the Premier's Women's Excellence Awards in August,” he said.

UN Women Country Director, Anne Shongwe, said some of the main challenges still facing women are pay disparities and sexual harassment. 

“Pay disparities are still very much a reality, as is the perception that women are less capable than men in certain professions.

“For an example, only 9% of the public procurement of goods and services goes to women owned companies. This worries us,” said Shongwe. 

International Women’s Day is observed on 8 March annually. –

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