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Ramaphosa: Govt to set aside 40% of public procurement to women-owned businesses

In his virtual address to mark National Women’s Day, the president said millions of South African women continued to live in conditions of poverty and unemployment and faced discrimination as well as violence.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa interacting with communities across the nation through a virtual Presidential Imbizo on coronavirus. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday said government had resolved to set aside 40% of public procurement to women-owned businesses in a bid to achieve equality.

In his virtual address to mark National Women’s Day, Ramaphosa said millions of South African women continued to live in conditions of poverty and unemployment and faced discrimination as well as violence.

The president said to give effect to government’s upliftment of women, South Africa joined Generation Equality - a global campaign to achieve gender equality by 2030.

“As part of this campaign, we are part of two Action Coalitions, one on economic justice and rights and another on gender-based violence and femicide,” Ramaphosa said.

“These Action Coalitions mobilise governments, civil society, and the private sector for collective action. They give us an opportunity to work with other world leaders to achieve real change in the lives of women across the globe,” he added.

Ramaphosa also spoke to some of the local interventions made towards this goal.

“The first action is to expand the access of women to economic opportunity. We will do this, among other things, by setting aside 40% of public procurement for women-owned businesses,” the president said.

He added: “We now expect national departments to monitor and report on how many women have participated in each public procurement process. They will have to develop clear plans on how they will broaden women’s participation over the next 12 months.”

Ramaphosa said South Africa’s National Strategic Plan aimed to promote women’s economic inclusion to make women more financially independent in a bid to reduce their vulnerability to gender-based violence.

“We have an opportunity to build a country in which women's right to dignity, security, safety and protection is non-negotiable,” he said. “It requires bold and measurable actions by government, civil society, the private sector, and all actors for meaningful change.”

WATCH: National Women's Day address by President Cyril Ramaphosa

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