Mosselbay Municipality Institutional Profile

Date: September 3, 2013
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“We need to keep making sure that gender mainstreaming continues in the council”

Mosselbay Municipality joined the COE process in May 2011 the council also participated in the third Annual Gender Justice and Local Government Summit in 2012. The council participated in the Summit for the first time. The council has done relatively well within the COE process and have completed the stages of the process, when the council joined the issues of gender mainstreaming were not being clearly implemented and there needed to be a clear indication in terms of how the programmes, and policies of the council would be gender focused. The council has a very well-resourced Gender and HIV/AIDS unit which ensures that there are programmes and projects designed and implemented to address issues of gender mainstreaming.

Before the council joined the COE process there had been indication that the council had established a gender forum which would assist with the gender mainstreaming within the council.

Prior to the council joining the COE process there was no gender action plan (GAP) that was formulated however once the (GAP) was developed by the council it was adopted and also incorporated into the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) of the council. Furthermore the IDP of the council also has a gender five year plan which outlines the various areas of the plan which aim to address issues of gender within the council with cost allocations. The council has committed resources to strength and ensure sustainability of planned projects that assist with gender mainstreaming.

“We need to make sure that gender mainstreaming continues within the council”-Alma Kritzinger- Gender and Disability Coordinator of Mosselbay Municipality

Mosselbay Municipality is also under way of finalising and adopting their Gender policy which is aligned to the key principals of ensuring gender equality, by encouraging equal treatment of women and men in every aspect of their lives, especially in their workplace and organisational level to ensure that discrimination is eliminated.

The council has been able to ensure that to ensure that gender equality is at the very centre of transformation in Mossel Bay within all the structures, institutions, policies, procedures and practices and programmes. COE stages that have been covered have gone up to Stage ten with the council replicating the Gender Links Local Government Summit and hosting their own “No More Victims Summit” last year in 2012. The council has taken full ownership of the COE process and this has happened because of the support given to the process by the Executive Management, and Mayoral Committee.

There have been challenges within the council one of the main challenges has been ensuring that the Gender Forum Members are capacitated with regard to gender mainstreaming issues. Appointing appropriate individuals to champion for the gender issues within the various units has also been a problem; the established gender forum also has a very strong internal focus in the council however there is great lack and capacity in terms of equipping the forum to be able to implement projects externally. Keeping the various staff within the institution and departments enthusiastic and educating them gender mainstreaming has also been very difficult; many units still do not disaggregate their information quantitatively along sex disaggregation between women and men.

However there have been solutions to some of these challenges the Gender Forum members including the Vice-Person will be capacitated with the COE process through the training of trainers workshop hosted by Genderlinks. Staff within the council will also be further capacitated when the council hosts internal monthly gender mainstreaming sessions with the different units, this will assist with the units realising the issues of gender are not only meant for the attention of the social development unit.

Since the COE process began in the council issues of gender have taken a step forward before GL introduced the COE process gender mainstreaming issues were only reduced to hosting events and projects. However the council has needed to also review many policies and procedures, the appointment and support of the Executive Mayor who is a female has also been a major breakthrough within the council. Women have been encouraged to apply for key positions within the council, job advertisements have also been amended to encourage women and those living with disabilities to apply for jobs.

The COE process has encouraged issues of transformation in the workplace to be facilitated the COE process has invigorated and ensured that women in leadership positions help mentor those at lower levels, and encourage the practise of mentorship programmes which enable women to see themselves as equal to their male counterparts.
“Before attending the Genderlinks workshop I did not think that gender issues were relevant to me as a man, but this is clearly not the case”- Daniel Prins- South African Police Services Constable

Mosselbay Municipality has also developed and strengthened their working relationship with their local stakeholders including the South African Police Service, and local NGO’s the strengthening and interaction of these different stakeholders has allowed the council to ensure that there is a coordinated response and methodology applied within the community.

Mossel Bay Municipality is also part of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) which are enrolled and facilitated by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture on behalf of the National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
The Western Cape Provincial Department of Agriculture therefore in conjunction with Mossel Bay Municipality have embarked on a joint rural development programme for rural communities that form part of the Mossel Bay municipal area. This project is a landmark initiative within the Western Cape one of the key characteristics of the council that distinguish it from other councils is that the council is very strategic in forging partnerships with stakeholder to ensure that change is implemented at grassroots level.

Mosselbay Municipality is in a position to ensure that the cascading of the COE process is filtered to their local municipalities, the council has anchored issues of gender mainstreaming very well. GL would need to ensure that support is given to the council from a backstopping angle however the council is one of the fully fledged COE councils and in a position to assist GL to further capacitate councils in the Mosselbay Area and Region.



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