Plight of women leaders takes centre stage

Having more women in leadership positions is more important than ever

This was one of the many sentiments shared by the panellists in the Women in Local Government and Traditional Leadership Dialogue which was hosted by KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) MEC Sipho Hlomuka, at the KZN Training Academy on 31st of August 2021.

Amongst the esteemed guests were the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development Mr Ronald Lamola, who delivered the keynote address, the Deputy Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Dr Nobuhle Nkabane, the Deputy Chairperson of the KZN Provincial House of Traditional Leaders Inkosi PT Zulu, Chairperson of Sports and Recreation Portfolio Committee Ms Amanda Bani-Mapena and the Mayor of the uBuhlebezwe local municipality Cllr EB Ngubo.

The dialogue, which was attended by female mayors, deputy mayors, speakers and amakhosi, focused on challenges affecting women in local government and the traditional leadership institution in the province.

The panellists also highlighted the necessity of gender balance in eadership roles as the province and country prepare for local government elections.

Speaking in this dialogue, MEC Hlomuka expressed his delight in the department’s efforts in ensuring that women are not oppressed.

“We pride ourselves in the progress we have made in recognising the contribution our women make in the public life of our province. We actively support women empowerment through capacitating women in local government and traditional institutions. We are also proud to mention that more than 60% of management positions in our Department are occupied by women”, said Hlomuka.

Minister Lamola also voiced his concern about the rising crime rate and urged the guests, who are leaders at the grassroots level, to aid security clusters in battling crime.

“When discussing the change of the judiciary, we must also consider the racial and gender diversity of judges, as well as the competence of other key actors in the value chain. Furthermore, as women in positions of leadership on the ground, you must join and support us as the justice and security cluster in combating our communities’ alarming crime rate,” urged Lamola.

The programme concluded with a candlelight item to honour all the women who have lost their lives through gender-based violence. Women were encouraged to seek support and speak out against any form of gender-based.