- President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced actions by the government to reduce gender inequality during a virtual address commemorating Women's Day.
- One of the planned measures includes ensuring 40% of government procurement is from women-owned businesses.
- The president also highlighted assistance given to shelters working with gender-based violence survivors.
In a virtual address commemorating Women's Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government planned to ensure a portion of public procurement from government departments was sourced from women-owned businesses.
During the address on Sunday, Ramaphosa announced South Africa had joined a global campaign to create gender equality by 2030.
The address marked 64 years since more than 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of the pass laws to women.
He added while many gains had been made in education, health care, economic activity and decision-making, millions of South African women still lived in poverty and were unemployed.
Eleven months after announcing an emergency action plan to address gender-based violence, Ramaphosa used his Women's Day address to speak about a number of actions the government intended taking to promote gender equality.
"The time to talk is over. This is the time for action".
These include expanding access to economic opportunities by ensuring up to 40% of public procurement was from women-owned businesses.
Government departments would be expected to report back on this process as well as develop plans on how to broaden their procurement over the next six months.
Other plans included speeding up the process of providing women with access to assets such as land, and adopting international protocols minimising gender-based violence in the workplace.
Ramaphosa also recounted funding distributed to women as part of Covid-19 relief funds, including R70 million to expand shelters and a network of care centres.