14 September 2020

British High Commissioner, Mr Nigel Casey.
Deputy Minister for DIRCO, Mr Alvin Botes.
Chairperson of Solidarity Fund, Mam Gloria Serobe.

All other dignitaries present.

Ladies and Gentleman.

Today we are here to receive a generous donation from the United Kingdom government through Solidarity Fund responsible for all COVID-19 and related interventions in the country. We want to sincerely thank the UK government for this gesture. Without a doubt, this amount of R50 million will go a long way in making a difference.

I am excited that the British Commission has made specifications that this donation must be directed to the fight against gender-based violence that the country is facing; and that it must also be channeled to the supporting of women economic empowerment and SMMEs.

The country is besieged by gender-based violence with cases reported everyday. This battle against gender-based violence requires all the efforts that we may discharge. A special attention of this donation would be paid to women involved in agricultural projects through a voucher system. These choices around this donation in terms of making a meaningful impact to the women of this country is a welcome contribution. Evidence shows that we have more women than men in the agricultural sector both the small-scale farming and subsistence farming in our rural areas. Women produces food foe their households and sell some of these products as hawkers in taxi ranks and other public spaces. It is therefore logical that empowerment of women in this important sector will boost their efforts.

As government of South Africa we want to extend our gratitude to British Commission. We know that all countries, including Britain, are under severe financial positions as a result of the impact that COVID-19 had, so its not easy to make resources available to other countries. As this government we appreciate our long-standing cordial bilateral relations and mutual respect.

I thank you.

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