As International Women’s Day was commemorated yesterday, Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu has welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was signed aiming to advance the transformation agenda within the social housing sector.
However, the MoU was signed between the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) and South African Women In Construction and Built Environment (SAWIC & BE), aiming to empower women to lead and manage accredited Social Housing Institutions and Other Delivery Agents (ODAs).
In addition, SHRA is one of the entities of the Department of Human Settlements responsible for subsidized rental stock for low to medium income groups earning between R1500 and R15 000.
Minister Sisulu said, over the years we have strived to embark on initiatives aimed at unlocking the value chain and ensuring that our grants are gender friendly to encourage broader participation of women in the human settlements sector and built environment.
“I implore women across racial lines to progressively contribute [to] building the country’s economy. Women need to step up and make an equal contribution in industrial production as well as in the corporate workforce,” said Ms Sisulu.
The Minister also called on the parties to ensure that the MoU is fully implemented and does not become another document that does not yield any tangible results.
Furthermore, the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), Women of South Africa, Black Business Council and Human Settlements Development Bank are other organizations that committed their support towards the successful implementation of the MoU.
What’s more, at the signing ceremony the Interim Board Chairperson of SHRA Ms Bathabile Dlamini, cautioned against the empowerment of few women-controlled companies at the expense of the majority of other women.
“The opportunities are for everyone, let us not be greedy and only think for ourselves. As women we are known for caring and nurturing and let us put that into action through this MoU,” said Ms Dlamini.
Last month, Ms Sisulu called for more private sector investment into social housing projects to assist government’s efforts in meeting the demand of social housing units.
Currently SHRA has 52 projects in the pipeline which are expected to yield 21 000 units. This would require debt investment funding of R 3,6 billion.
“As the world commemorates the International Women’s Day let us all take up the heavy cudgel and fight against all forms of discrimination, chiefly violence against women and economic exclusion,” minister concluded.