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SA: Nokuzola Tolashe: Address by Deputy Minister, Debate on the State of the Nation Address (13/02/2024)


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SA: Nokuzola Tolashe: Address by Deputy Minister, Debate on the State of the Nation Address (13/02/2024)

14th February 2024


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Honourable Speaker and her Deputy His Excellency President Ramaphosa
Honourable Deputy President Paul Mashatile Honourable Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and His Deputy
Honourable Members of Parliament, And Fellow citizens

We take this opportunity to welcome the 2024 SONA delivered by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa his account does not only cover the 6th term administration but it covers 30 years of ANC led government in which in application and implementation of the freedom charter has been successful in producing intended results especially its 1st  clause , I quote “people shall govern”, and 9th clause I quote “there shall be houses ,security and comfort”, it is also highly influenced by the 1954 Women’s Charter that articulates its self on the total emancipation of the motive forces as defined by the National Democratic Revolution.


As the ruling party, we headed the call as women and put numerous policies and programmes which were taken forward by Government with respect to the socio-economic empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity. They have resulted in the improvement of women’s lives and livelihoods. These policies centre around addressing women’s poverty, women’s social protection; women’s health including sexual and reproductive health; education and advancement in skills, provision of sanitary dignity packs for indigent girls and women, 40% public procurement to women owned businesses among many.

Although there are policies addressing teenage pregnancy, Gender Based Violence and Femicide, women’s burden of unpaid care and household work, among other such persisting problems, unfortunately, these are challenges that continue to negatively impact the lives and livelihoods of women and girls and therefore negatively impacting their 
socio-economic status, because they all need hands on deck and the reconstruction and development of the mind.


Honourable Speaker

The story of Tintswalo is the modus operandi of the ruling party that all children born after 1994, live a decent life, have access to opportunities that their parents didn’t have and be able to create better lives for themselves and their families. (Xhosa)

Youth-focused programs in South Africa have played a significant role in fostering skills development and employment opportunities.

By providing education support, vocational training, mentorship, and support in career development, these initiatives have helped to bridge the gap between education and employment. Furthermore, initiatives focusing on entrepreneurship and leadership development have empowered young people to create their own opportunities and contribute to the economy.
As you are aware that this government has spared more effort and resources to improve access to quality education, so as to unlock the potential of young people by building their capabilities to reach their full potential.

The President pronounced on the upscaling of initiatives to address youth unemployment. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) (2021), skills development can reduce unemployment and underemployment, and increase productivity as well as improve standards of living, when implemented properly.

In contributing to the efforts of our government’s spent to improve access to quality education, the Our Department together with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and other Departments have reimagined the National Youth Service to be responsive to industry demand. Its approach to solving the challenge of youth unemployment is that of "All-of-Government and All-of-Society" to skills development for the unskilled, livelihood restoration, wealth creation, poverty, and hunger alleviation for the marginalised.
The culture of science will significantly shape how women, youth and persons with disabilities think about, perceive and solve the socio-economic challenges they encounter daily and empowering them to create their own opportunities and contribute to the economic growth of the country and employment opportunities.

The initiative have six (6) employment steams and that will be established and they are:
1.    Maritime skills and the oceans economy
2.    Engineering,    construction    and    manufacturing    for infrastructure roll-out and maintenance,
3.    Food and agricultural value-chain industries
4.    Digital, ICT and 4IR industries
5.    Defence, safety and security
6.    Community orientated services

With South African Sign Language becoming a 12th official language, all duty bearers, private and public, have to ensure that at all service points, including training, provide South African Sign Language (SASL), physically or digitally to remove the communication and information barrier affecting persons who are deaf.
It is an honour that I stand before you to highlight the remarkable progress made by the Sixth Administration in responding to GBVF. Throughout our tenure, we have prioritised accountability across all tiers of government by ensuring the implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on GBVF and enforcing compliance with reporting. The establishment of the GBVF Response Fund signifies a crucial step forward in our commitment to address this societal scourge, the private sector availing funds to implement GBV programmes.

The National Council on Gender Based Violence and Femicide Bill (NCGBVF Bill) was approved by the National Assembly and sent to the NCOP in 2023,

Through legislative measures, six critical pieces of legislation related to GBVF have been signed into law, with implementation costing well underway.

Furthermore, the Intersectoral Shelter Policy and the Psycho- Social Support Services Policy serve as cornerstones in providing holistic support to survivors of GBVF. We have expanded our reach with the establishment of additional Khuseleka One Stop Centres to assist victims in rebuilding their lives. Our commitment to economic empowerment is exemplified by the launch of the WECONA initiative.

We launched the third National Femicide Prevalence survey in March 2022, we reaffirmed our resolve to confront GBVF with unwavering determination. Through collaborative efforts and steadfast dedication, we will continue to work towards a society where every individual feels safe, valued, and empowered.

Both government and private sector can leverage separated data to design programs and services that cater to the specific needs of Our Department. Separated data, acts as a precision scalpel, exposing hidden inequalities and guiding targeted interventions.

The Stats SA’s Inequality Trends Report, 2020 states that women earn on an average 30% less than men in the same jobs.

Our Department has developed a law, the Promotion of Women’s Rights, Empowerment and Gender Equality Draft Bill, which incorporates a clause on “Equal Pay or Remuneration for Equal Work or Substantially Same Work or Work of Equal Value. This clause criminalises discrimination on pay on the basis of gender.

The approval by the National Assembly of the Sign Language and the President Signing it into law, will drastically improve access to justice for many persons with disabilities.

We call for the Public Procurement bill to be swiftly finalized to effectively implement set-asides in South Africa, thereby fostering tangible opportunities for the advancement and inclusion of women, youth, and persons with disabilities.

For more than 300 years South Africans and blacks families in particular , were deliberately rattled and disorganised by the white supremacy .However through their resilience and bravery our people rose to the occasion by producing the likes of the Mandela’s, Tambo’s and the Maxeke’s. Post 1994.
The ANC became hard at work having the capacity to provide basic services like houses, water and electricity led by that resilient leadership. It was through the ANC’s commitment that South Africans for the first time their dignity was restored. We can proudly say families play a critical role in providing support to the young and old.

Honourable Speaker

As I conclude STATS SA reflect in the latest report that South Africa is better than what we inherited from apartheid regime, and this SONA 2024 has articulated that hence we are calling everyone especially women to vote ANC, to further work as a catalyst on improving people’s life. It is only people on my left that will never appreciate the strides achieved by ANC. In fact they are the course we find ourselves in this situation.



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