In commemoration of National Women’s Day, the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT), led by its Special Programme Unit, held a women empowerment seminar yesterday, August 23rd in East London.
The event took place under the theme “Building Financially Independent Women through Financial Literacy,” in alignment with the Provincial Government’s overarching theme of “Accelerating Socio-Economic Opportunities for Women Empowerment.”
The seminar was designed to equip DEDEAT’s female workforce with insights into establishing cooperative banking institutions and credit providers as innovative investment models, affording public sector employees the opportunity to partake as owners.
Phendulwa Guma-Gcelu, delivering opening remarks on behalf of the Head of the Department, Mickey Mama, extended a warm welcome and gratitude to the attendees. Guma-Gcelu urged the women to play a pivotal role in driving the nation’s economy and invoked the spirit of the heroic 1956 struggle, honouring the bravery of those who fought for justice by chanting, “Malibogwe Igama lakhosikazi.”
Throughout the event, presenters from diverse financial institutions shared their expertise. Mr. M. Wambi, representing Sanlam as a financial advisor, advised the participants on financial investments, emphasising the importance of wills and cautioning women to be vigilant regarding financial matters, including marriage contracts.
Ms. T. Tshabalala from Cooperatives Bank Development Agency (CBDA) enlightened DEDEAT’s women about the establishment of cooperative banking, outlining the prerequisites for opening a cooperative bank, capped at a maximum of 200 participants. Mr. Ntimane, a representative from the National Credit Regulator (NCR), spoke on the significance of cash loan registration.
Imvelo Cooperative Finance Institution and NEHAWU shared words of encouragement, recounting their experiences and the lessons learned on their respective journeys. The interactive Questions and Answers segment enabled attendees to engage directly with the presenters.
Guest speaker Ms. Thandi Mkhanzana, an enterprising figure from East London, shared her inspiring experiences, motivating all attendees. She highlighted her entrepreneurial journey, offering insights into her path to success and encouraging women to explore unconventional opportunities beyond traditional roles.
DEDEAT’s Women empowerment seminar proved to be an informative and inspiring platform, reaffirming the commitment to fostering financially empowered and independent women within DEDEAT and in government.