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Women a critical component of transport industry – deputy minister

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Deputy Transport Minister Dikeledi Magadzi in city for elective conference of the Northern Cape SA Network for Women in Transport

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THE DEPUTY Minister of Transport, Dikeledi Magadzi, has stressed that women are a critical component of the transport industry.

Magadzi was speaking at the elective conference of the Northern Cape SA Network for Women in Transport (Sanwit) that was held in Kimberley on Wednesday.

She said that women should be given equal opportunities as they were typically “at the bottom of the income spectrum” and excluded from the economy.

“The Department of Transport acknowledges through both its strategic plan 2019-2024 that the transformation of the transport sector remains a primary target towards the satisfaction of our mandate,” said Magadzi.

“The transformation agenda of the transport sector must focus on the construction, engineering, aviation, maritime sectors in a manner that broadens economic participation, economic growth and job creation and contribution to broad-based black economic empowerment, skills development and the growth of small, medium, macro enterprises and co-operatives, with a particular bias towards township and rural economies.”

Magadzi said that Sanwit was established by the Department of Transport as an umbrella body for women entrepreneurs in the transport sector.

“Our purpose is to create a forum for women to network, expose women to role models, coaches and mentors, facilitate enterprise development, provide capacity building and skills development and source economic and business opportunities.”

She added that the chapter launch of Sanwit in the Province was long overdue.

“We are aware that the launch event is now overdue, having been planned for the previous year and blocked by other intervening circumstances not of our choosing.

“We have taken to heart the commitment shown towards a successful launch event, irrespective of the constraints affecting the Northern Cape.

“It is my wish that women in the transport businesses will be uplifted from any oppressive circumstances.”

She pointed out that some state-owned companies (SOCs) that reported to the department did not utilise Sanwit as a vehicle to provide business and economic opportunities particularly to women, youth and people with disabilities.

“We have also learnt that instead some of the SOCs resort to setting up their own women organisations.

“These challenges are certainly a consequence of a lack of proper co-ordination of Sanwit matters and opportunities are not spread across and/or shared with other members.

“There is a serious lack of capacity for sector-wide implementation of empowerment actions.

“There remains a serious shortage of skills amongst Sanwit members including national council and office bearers.

“The department must find ways of bringing all transport women formations under the Sanwit umbrella.”

Magadzi added that she would facilitate the preferential procurement to benefit more women.