A Women Economic Empowerment event held on 16 September at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre celebrated the life of Charlotte Maxeke.
Chairperson of the Governance and Corporate Human Capital Committee Councillor Nompumelelo Sithole spoke on the late stalwarts’ strides in business and her perseverance in a male dominated arena. She said Maxeke pushed the envelope and opened doors for women in spaces that were reserved for men.
“We must continue to encourage women to pursue their business interests and to not be demotivated by what they see. The time is now for women to lead in all spheres because they are capable and their resilience is unmatched,” she said.
The event brought together stakeholders responsible for cohesion and fluidity in the business space. This included small, medium, and micro enterprise (SMMEs) business owners, the South African Revenue Services (SARS), Ithala Bank, Ikhokha Payment Solutions, and different spheres of government.
Manqoba Mbatha from Ithala Bank said they are committed to assisting women and youth in business. “Ithala encourages women in business to hire other women and youth. They must also keep track of their financial wellbeing as it has a positive impact when applying for funding,” he said.
Thuli Mchunu from SARS said they have incentives for SMMEs through Small Business Corporation Incentives. She said this information is readily available. “Tax should not be something we shy away from but rather a vehicle of economic development and assistance. It is important to be transparent and on good, honest terms with SARS. We are working to assist SMMEs,” she added.
Sboniso Bophela from Ikhokha Payment Solutions presented a pay point and affordable cashless solution to SMMEs. “We aim to make cashless payments accessible to all businesses at the lowest and most convenient rate possible.”