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SALGA Women’s Commission (SWC) successfully convenes a National Seminar & Local Government Women Leadership Development Masterclass series




Posted: 08 September 2021

The SALGA Women’s Commission (SWC) convened a three-day National Seminar & Local Government Women Leadership Development Masterclass Series, 25 -27 August 2021, under the theme “The Year of Charlotte Maxeke: Realising Women’s Rights. Reflecting on Tangible Solutions for Gender Equality in Local Government (Past Achievements and Future Goals)”.

The newly elected Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), and former President of SALGA, Hon. Thembi Nkadimeng delivered a keynote address. Other prominent speakers that graced the national seminar included women leaders hailing from various spheres of government, civil society, academia, research and policy institutions, the Commonwealth Women in Local Government Network and reflected on issues affecting women; leadership and representation, security and peace, policy and Covid-19 implications on women, among others. "We as women must also aspire to be the women that stood for women's rights before us and continue running with the baton. We must continue to fight against marginalisation in our society. Women in South Africa are killed, raped, harassed, assaulted on a daily basis. We as women face difficulties and scary situations in our homes and in our communities. We express our deepest condolences to Nosicelo and all the women that have died at the hands of others in our country. Let us draw strength and courage from Charlotte Maxeke with her leadership, courage, principles that she carried and displayed", said Hon. Thembi Nkadimeng.

SALGA Women’s Commission National Chairperson Cllr Flora Maboa-Boltman said that the objectives of the national seminar includes a reflection on the gender parity (representation and participation) of both political and administrative leadership positions and report on the SWC Journey and progress with the implementation of the SWC resolutions during 2016 – 2021 term of office.

"Women’s equal participation is guaranteed by the Constitution; however, political parties have not done enough to make women representation a reality. The Gender Links Elections Report (2016) points to a mere 3% point increase of women’s representation in local government from 38% of elected Councillors in 2011 municipal elections, to 41%, following the 3 August 2016 municipal elections. Women’s representation increased in party proportional representation lists (48%) but dropped to 32% of ward Councillor posts. This has implications for our country in terms of meeting regional and international commitments for achieving gender equality by 2030”, said Cllr Flora Maboa-Boltman.

On the evening of the first day, an award ceremony was held to recognise women leadership excellence and to celebrate women leaders who have achieved clean audits in terms of the Auditor General Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) reporting. In future, the SWC will also award other categories as part of “Inclusive Development Communities”.

On the second day Dr Octavia Makhabela addressed the SWC Masterclass delegates about dealing with workplace bullying. She explored the meaning of workplace bullying in the local government space. Her presentation further explored the relevant code of good practice as published by the Minister of Labour and practically explore ways to deal with this in the workplace today. Hon. Charity Oforiwaa Dwomoh from the Commonwealth Local Government Forum addressed the master class on the role of mentorship in women leadership development, learning from our sister local government associations.

The third session of the Masterclass explored the meaning of workplace innovation and its relevance and applicability in the local government space. It will further explore strategies and practices to build the requisite capacity for ensuring that municipal space are centres of excellence and innovative practices. Professor Lulama Makhubela, who is the chairperson of SAWID Development Commission looked into the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of women. A National Action Plan on Peace and Security for South Africa was presented by Ms. Caron Kgomo, Director Gender & Diversity Management of DIRCO. Mr Thulani Mavuso, the Deputy Director General of Home Affairs gave insight on the Green Paper on Marriages. Priority issues emerging for Local Government Action and Interventions as well as a Declaration Statement and Adoption formed part of the wrap of the session.

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