Ramaphosa: ANC irrevocably committed to empowerment of women

The president says gender equality is important and that women should also be economically empowered.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the Hellenic, Italian and Portuguese communities at Germiston, Ekurhuleni, on 26 March 2019 at the HIP Alliance. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured the Hellenic, Italian, and Portuguese (HIP Alliance) communities in South Africa that issues of gender equality are being addressed to ensure that there is no discrimination.

The president was responding to questions from the communities at the HIP Alliance gathering on Tuesday night at Germiston, Ekurhuleni, as part of the African National Congress (ANC)’s elections campaign.

Various speakers from the communities had an opportunity to speak to Ramaphosa about the future of the country in business, politics, and government.

Ramaphosa said that gender equality was important and that women should also be economically empowered.

“The ANC is irrevocably committed to the empowerment of women and getting women into key positions and making sure that they are fully empowered. That we are never going to reverse from,” he said.

“We are working very closely with civil society on a national plan on gender-based violence, empowerment of women, and in a few days, we will be signing a declaration that specifically deals with the economic empowerment of women.”

He also touched on issues of race discrimination.

“We have made substantial progress in relation to race relations since the advent of democracy in 1994. Where racial incidents occur, they are condemned, and now in the era of social media as racial incidents occur, many people become aware of them and they are immediately posted. And some who have been involved in those racial incidents are now serving jail terms and they are being disciplined in one way or another.”

Meanwhile, the HIP Alliance vowed to support Ramaphosa ahead of the 8 May general elections.

One man urged the president to consider members of the community to be placed in various spheres in the public sector.

"We would like to see a Portuguese South African as a member of Parliament with the ANC and ambassadors, we don’t have one Portuguese South African ambassador. We would also like to have a Portuguese South African High Court judge. We would like to see Portuguese South Africans in those spheres because we believe we have those skills."

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)