MESSAGE FROM THE CONVENOR - Sipho Mbele
Dear PBF Subscriber
The month of August saw the celebration of Women’s Month, paying tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. Women’s Month was celebrated under the theme: “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights for an Equal Future”. The concept of Generation Equality is a global campaign and links South Africa to global efforts to achieve gender equality by 2030.*
In his remarks on Women’s Day, on 9 August, President Ramaphosa said:
We have declared 2021 as the Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, a courageous women’s rights activist and also a leader who was born 150 years ago. We celebrate this year of her birth because we want to encourage the women of this country to follow her example and to follow in her footsteps.
We celebrate the resolve of these women to determine their own destiny. At the same time we pay tribute to today’s generation of women.
Just as the women of 1956 fought against the injustices of their time, the women of today are engaged in a new frontier of struggle. It is a struggle for equal rights, dignity, economic liberation and freedom from violence.
Women have always been instrumental in the advancement of the human cause. They have played a crucial role in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
And yet it is women who always bear the brunt of inequality, discrimination, marginalisation, poverty and violence. Like the women of 1956, the present generation of women must lead the struggle for a society that is free of these ills and particularly the patriarchal relations that cause them.**
For its part, the PBF dedicated its most recent edition of our magazine – “Business Update” to the women of our country. It included different contributors for this special edition, including women holding key positions in government, in our movement and in the corporate world. These articles, deal with issues that speak to the critical role of women in our country. We are honored to have this edition as a tribute to all women everywhere. As we continue this journey of ensuring the crucial role of women in our country, we are reminded of the quote by Charlotte Makgomo Maxeke who said: “This work is not for yourselves, kill that spirit of self and do not live above your people, but live with them and if you can rise, bring someone with you”.
A vital part of the PBF programme, is to host an annual Women’s Day event. These have grown exponentially in standing and stature to become a highlight of the PBF activities, and sees leading women in the political and private sector, engage around matters that support and re-enforces, celebrates, salutes and honors the critical role of women in South Africa.
The PBF is hosting a special Women’s Day event on 31 Augustand will see invited speakers from the leadership of the ANC and the business community, the audience will include leaders in government, women business representatives and entrepreneurs. The event will include a luncheon, providing valuable interaction and engagement that seeks to do justice to the women of our country.
We will report on that event in the next edition of this newsletter.
As readers are aware, the PBF has embarked on a series of engagements with various foreign Missions based in South Africa, to explore and promote enhanced business opportunities between the PBF subscribers and the businesses of those represented countries.
The first such virtual engagement took place on 13 July with the Kenya High Commission in Pretoria, entitled - “South Africa/Kenya – Growing and Promoting Business” and which saw the participation of Cde Paul Mashatile, the South African High Commissioner to Kenya, the Kenyan High Commissioner to South Africa and Kenyan business representatives engaging with PBF subscribers on potential business opportunities of mutual interest.
Engagements with other Missions for virtual webinars, are well underway and we will keep subscribers informed as these events are finalized.
As we do so, we would invite you to be in touch with us, confident that together we can make a difference by our actions.
We look forward to your ongoing active participation in the programmes of the PBF.