Acting Premier of the Northern Cape at the Re-Launch of the Mme Re Ka Thusa Trust Fund

Address by the by the Acting Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Grizelda Cjiekella, at the Re-Launch of the Mme Re Ka Thusa Trust Fund, 12 February 2012 at the Protea Hotel, Big Hole, Kimberley



Programme Director

Members of the Executive Council

The Board of Trustees

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

The Provincial Government and the leadership collective is humbled and grateful for the opportunity to relaunch the Mme Re Ka Thusa Trust with the primary purpose to support and empower women in our province. It is aimed at creating prospective business leaders with the necessary skills and capabilities to contribute towards the economic growth of our province. This initiative is quite critical as it has been assisting women to take advantage of the business opportunities available in the province.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the decision to relaunch the Development Trust was taken by Premier Hazel Jenkins after she uncovered gross irregularities and mismanagement of trust funds. Subsequent to that she instituted an investigation which established that the Trust funds were indeed misappropriated. A complex litigation process was pursued wherein the high court removed the last remaining trustee and in effect concurred with the investigation that we had instituted which found that state-funded monies had been misappropriated.

The action we initiated is indicative of the zero tolerance the ANC-led government has adopted against the abuse of state resources.

We have since appointed a new Board of Trustees of highly capable and competent people with impeccable credentials and integrity to oversee the smooth and optimal functioning of the Trust and ensure that it adheres to strict governance principles by being accountable and transparent to the broader public.

Through this relaunch, Ladies and Gentlemen, we want to ensure that it becomes a vehicle for sustainable development for our women throughout the province. What we are saying is that we want to promote the active participation of women in development and economic empowerment. The trust envisions a society where women are free from fear and are able to achieve their full potential.

The founding principles of the Trust states that the Trust shall, and I quote:

“Assist previously disadvantaged individuals to participate in the business opportunities that await themselves;

Engage in such activities which are aimed at social and community upliftment in the field of human resources and skills development;

Partner with the provincial government of the Northern Cape in engaging in its activities as set out above and any activity deemed to be in the interests of the community of the Northern Cape;

Engage in business transactions with established businesses with the objective of raising capital and revenue; and assist in the assessment of business opportunities.”

These objectives clearly demonstrate that the empowerment of women and female-owned businesses is integral to the growth of South Africa and the Northern Cape in particular.

Distinguished Guests, it is clear that the Trust must also serve to bridge the barriers that prevent women from fully participating in the broader sphere of society and become involved in matters of development and drivers of our economy. Women must take responsibility for their own lives and play an equal role in overcoming problems that beset our society.

President Jacob Zuma indicated during the 2011 women’s month celebrations that “Government will continue to encourage the development and growth of more women-owned enterprises that will take on the opportunities brought about by the localisation of our industrial policy action plan. He further reflected that women’s economic empowerment is fully supported by the constitution, the Small Business Act and the Broad Based Black Economic Act and other legislation and policies of government.

We believe, Ladies and Gentlemen, that women in rural areas, townships and villages must have the opportunity to open successful small businesses or cooperatives to generate income.

Government has opened many doors for women empowerment and encourages their participation in all aspects of the economy and developmental matters. Despite all the success that has been achieved, we still need to do more to ensure that women get the deserved respect and opportunities as their male counterparts.

We are urging all women to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to them and continue on this journey of promoting women- owned enterprises.

In conclusion, I wish to encourage all women to work with government so that we can promote empowerment and take it to the next level.

Programme Director; at this juncture allow me to introduce to you the new Board of trustees:

Maggie Elizabeth Louw
Suzan Thandiwe Masenge
Ethel Elizabeth Cloete
Tsholofelo Abegail Majeng
Estel Bezuidenhout
Patricia Badirwang Makgoka

We are confident that this board of trustees will discharge their tasks and responsibilities diligently to ensure that all the women of this province benefit from the work of the trust. We want to see visible change for women from all walks of life. In wishing you success in all your endeavours, we are confident that good governance, probity and the highest ethical standards will be maintained for the term of your office. The people of the Province expect nothing less.

I thank you

 

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