Parliament, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities has commended the funding relief plan budget announcement it described as gender-responsive that was made by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza recently.
The committee welcomes the allocations of 40% to women, 20% to youth and 20% to persons with disabilities. R1.2 billion has been ring-fenced to target mainly financially distressed small-scale farmers by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.
Committee Chairperson, Ms Nonhlanhla Ncube-Ndaba said she appreciates the gender-equitable distribution of resources during this time as it will contribute to women, youth and persons with disabilities. “The Ministry’s pointed intervention is profound for its increased recognition of alleviating the plight of the hard-pressed citizens in the coal-face of food production in such difficult times of the pandemic,” said Ms Ncube-Ndaba.
The committee calls on other departments to apply not only gender-responsive budgeting but also a youth development approach and disability rights perspective when providing assistance to various sectors of the economy amidst the pandemic. To this end, the National Youth Development Agency is urged to work collaboratively with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to assist young farmers in this regard.
The committee is extremely concerned by the cases of gender-based violence (GBV) that were reported in the media within the first week of the lockdown. The committee urges law enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators of all forms of GBV are brought to book.
These efforts will counter the challenge posed by GBV to the welfare of the nation especially given the recently reported increase of GBV during the lockdown. The committee commends women for their courage to come forward and seek assistance during this depressing period.
Ms Nonhlanhla Ncube-Ndaba said the rise in GBV is exacerbated by the volatile frosty relations that the lockdown has provided a conducive environment instead of safer spaces against the virus. “When as the country we need to be united in fighting the pandemic in the safety of our homes, women are victims inside and outside of their homes”. Women and children should feel much safer in the comfort of their homes rather than on the street.
The committee further said the Interim Steering Committee on GBVF under the auspices of the Minister for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is expected to demonstrate now more than ever strong leadership to implement the Cabinet approved National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide 2020-2030.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WOMEN, YOUTH AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, MS NONHLANHLA NCUBE-NDABA.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact:
Name: Ms Yoliswa Landu
Parliamentary Communication Services
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