Statement on the meeting of the Gauteng Executive Council
11 Aug 2010
The Gauteng Executive Council on Wednesday, 11 August 2010 held its ordinary meeting in Craighall, Johannesburg. Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and all 10 members of the Executive Council attended the meeting.
The Executive Council noted with appreciation events held on 9 August 2010 marking the celebration of the National Women's Day.
The main Gauteng event in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni highlighted service delivery issues and various government programmes including practical actions to improve the lives of women. Government departments exhibited their services and provided information on practical steps which women could take to improve their own lives.
There was an overwhelming response by ordinary women of Gauteng. Many of them took various medical tests to know their health status while others found valuable information about starting their own businesses and accessing various opportunities existing in government.
This new approach to the celebration of women's day helps to refocus society on issues that concern the development of women. More similar events are planned for the rest of August throughout the province and we hope that more women will take full advantage of the events to improve their lives.
As we celebrate Women's Day or Women's Month it is important to remind South Africans about the heroic struggles waged by our fore-bearers who fought against apartheid and gender discrimination.
We must pay tribute to the women who in 1956 flexed their muscles to challenge the apartheid regime. We must also teach the younger generation of women what these brave women did this, so that they too can continue with the struggle for the full emancipation of women.
As part of its Women's Month programme the Gauteng Provincial Government will hold inter-generational dialogue to teach young women about the history of the struggle for women emancipation. Many young women today enjoy access to opportunities which the women of 1956 struggled for.
In Gauteng there are more girl learners who study mathematics, science and technology and acquiring skills which previously were seen as reserved for boys.
This was made possible by the struggles waged by the women of 1956 and it is important that our young girls must know this. We will also hold a dialogue with women from the African Diaspora to discuss their perspective on issues such as xenophobia and the development of women in Africa.
The Executive Council noted the ongoing labour dispute involving public servants and their employer. We hope that a solution will be found to avert a full withdrawal of labour which could adversely impact service delivery.
Government respects the rights of workers to engage in labour action including withdrawing their labour in pursuit of better conditions. At the same time we are concerned about possible disruption of services particularly in the areas of health and education.
We will do everything possible to limit the impact of a full strike on service delivery if there is no settlement.
The relevant departments have made contingency arrangements and these will be implemented in the event of a strike.
The Executive Council approved a plan to reduce maternal and infant mortality in Gauteng. The plan responds to key factors responsible for maternal deaths such as non-pregnancy related infections including HIV and AIDS, obstetric haemorrhage, hypertension and pre-existing medical conditions.
The programme for the prevention of mother to child transmission of AIDS through antiretroviral treatment is being expanded to ensure that all pregnant women can access the service.
All antenatal facilities in Gauteng offer the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV services. This intervention can only be effective if the mothers come forward at the early stages of their pregnancy so that they can get help.
The Basic Ante Natal Care (BANC) programme enables early recognition of pre-existing medical conditions and early treatment to save both the mother and the child. Early detection will enable medical staff to give proper advice on treatment including the method of delivery and post delivery treatment.
In terms of the prevention of neonatal deaths the plan addresses major causes including intra partum birth asphyxia and birth trauma; immaturity related problems; congenital abnormalities; infections and intra uterine growth retardation.
More health workers are being trained in peri natal care on an ongoing basis to ensure that they have the skills to perform deliveries and neonatal resuscitation. Emergency ambulance services (obstetric ambulances) are in place in place for referral of pregnant women with foetal distress to a higher level of care.
Early booking and the initiation of regular ante natal care is encouraged to help prevent immaturity related problems and preterm labour. Currently only 25 percent of expectant mothers book before 20 weeks of pregnancy. This percentage has to improve if we are to succeed in saving the lives of premature babies.
The MEC for Health and Social Development Qedani Mahlangu will at a later stage explain the details of the plan.
All these measures that we are implementing to save lives of mothers and children can bear results if we have full co-operation of mothers. In this regard we will be embarking on a campaign to educate young women about reproductive health and the important steps that they need to take to save both their lives and their babies.
For more information contact:
Cell: 082 410 8087
Issued by: Gauteng Office of the Premier
11 Aug 2010
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