Talking Notes for the
Presentation of the Joint Report of the GEWAYD, TIFI Committees and RWPC
Hon. Mfanawemakhosi J Dlamini,
1. Mr. President, I beg to move that this 42nd Plenary Assembly Session do adopt the Joint Report of the Standing Committees on Gender Equality, Women's Advancement and Youth Development (GEWAYD), Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI) and the Regional Women's Parliamentary Caucus (RWPC), laid on the table of the House on Friday, 1 st of December 2017.
2. On Wednesday, 15th November 2017, the two Standing Committees and RWPC held a joint session/workshop at the Holiday Inn OR Tambo, Johannesburg, South Africa I herewith humbly report on behalf of all the Honorouble Members who attended.
3. Allow me to appreciate the opportunity granted by joint Committee sittings as we get to learn from each other as we interact and approach issues from the different perspectives of our respective Committee mandates.
4. Meaning that those from gender would put a gender lense whilst we put on a trade lense and in the end both lenses end up seeing one thing and that is inclusive human development. Whilst we have compartmentalized portolio committees, life in real terms is lived as a whole not in compartmetns and this should follow our approach and perspective to issues.
5. Mr. President, the lack of finances both at the level of SADC PF and at the national level has unfortunately left Committee work to the mercy of donors. We were therefore at the mercy of GIZ, the Southern African Aids Trust and SADC Secretariat, and I wish to thank these partners dearly. SADC PF needs to come up with a clear program on how we can ensure the financing and scheduling of Standing Committee sessions.
6. The joint Committee Session was officially opened by Hon. Mmatlala Grace Boroto, the National Assembly House Chairperson: International Relations Parliament of South Africa.
7. We were also fortunate to have in our midst Hon Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, the Vice President of the SADC Parliamentary Forum and who is also the Vice Chairperson of the Regional Women's Parliamentary Caucus.
8. The cross cutting nature of the issues discussed and the relevance of these to the mandate of the two Committees and the Caucus warranted that we meet under one roof to consider and resolve on the different but interrelated issues of regional importance such as (i)Gender Responsive Budgeting (ii)Regional Anti Trafficking Response (iii) Revised SADC Protocol on Gender and Development which is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
9. In her Welcoming Statement, Honourable Mutsvangwa drew attention that South Africa is celebrating the year 2017 under the banner, "the Life and Legacy of O. R Tambo", the late former President of the African National Congress (ANC). I urge that we continue with this 42nd Plenary Assembly with the inspirational revolutionary thoughts of the likes of O.R Tambo and other such selfless heroes. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
10. On her part, Hon Mmatlala Boroto, our guest of honour confirmed South Africa's support for the transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a SADC Regional Parliament.
11. The Revised SADC Protocol on Gender and Development
11.1 Whilst many SADC member states signed the initial SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, some countries are slagish in signing the revised one as they are raising a number of reservations.
11.2 The revised Gender and Development Protocol is progressive in that it has integrated the objectives of Vision 2030 and the SDGs.
11.3 The first past the post electoral system is a stumbling block to Women to ascend to positions of power and political leadership.
11.4 We need to congratulate Mauritius for having both, a female Head of State and a female Speaker of Parliament.
12. Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB): Objectives and Guidelines
13.1 SADC in June 2014 adopted guidelines to help identify Gender
Responsive Budgeting (GRB) gaps.
13.2 GRB guidelines further seek to ensure that the practical realisation of gender equality across all sectors is central to the goals of reducing poverty, enhancing economic efficiency, achieving good governance and transparency.
13.3 The ideal entry point into the budget is at budget initiation stage and also through the development and budgeting for National development Plans. Budgets should also include people with disabilities and other vulnerable members of society.
13. Combating Trafficking in Persons (TIP)
13.1 A 2016 Baseline Report on Trafficking in Persons in the SADC Region was presented and it was said that most SADC member states are party to the global legislative framework to combat TIP.
13.2 TIP was noted as a serious problem in the Kingdom of Swaziland as the country is often used as a conduit of trafficking, especially of girls between Mozambique and South Africa. In in 2010, the Kingdom passed legislation to prohibit TIP. Sensitization activities were also undertaken which included encouraging the public to report incidences of human trafficking.
13.3 The meeting noted with concern the recent horror reports of Africans reportedly being auctioned off in slave markers in Libya for USD 400. The African Union and other international human rights actors should get to the bottom of this and work towards the end of the re-emerging slave trade.
13.4 It should be noted that TIP is more often than not undertaken underground and victims are not keen to report or expose themselves and the perpetrators of this heinous crime.
13.5 We also highlighted the importance of SADC member states to uphold good governance, human rights, control of the porous borders and earnestly fight corruption, especially amongst law enforcement agencies as an important approach to deal with TIP.
13.6 Countries also need to enter into formal bilateral agreements regarding labour migration in order to formalize recruitment. This arrangement enables government to regulate and control this export business in which country benefit from remittances and migrants obtain the legal right to stay in the country.
13.7 Finally Hon President, Honourable Members, in the interest of peace and security for all in the SADC Region, I humbly wish to lay on the table of this august House to deliberate on these important interlinked issues and resolve.