Daisy Jeremani Gender Editor
THE United Women Miners Association got a boost when they received $20,000 from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development to buy a stamp mill for their 32 claims in Esigodini. The Minister, Cde Oppah Muchinguri handed over the cheque to the group of women at an International Families Day commemorations held at Esigodini Cricket Ground, in Esigodini on Thursday.
She said this was part of the ministry’s drive to economically empower women, especially those in rural areas and expressed hope that the $20,000 will go a long way in alleviating their challenges.
In an interview on the sidelines of the event the president of United Women Miners Association, Mthandazo Muhau said they were going to use the money to buy a stamp mill for their claims at Novell mine.
The women had already bought a compressor, its hose and a jack hammer and approached the ministry to further fund them to acquire the equipment needed for excavations. Novell mine is situated along Nyankuni Range, in Esigodini.
“We did not want to approach the ministry without first showing what we can do for ourselves and also show that we had the resolve to transform our lives for the better,” she said.
The vice-president of the association, Sibongile Nyathi said they have a membership of 883 from across the country and these have formed groups that will benefit from the 32 claims.
“We got the 32 claims under a lease agreement from the former the owner of the mine. Other members are mines owners,” she said.
Speaking at the event, Cde Muchinguri bemoaned the increase in the number of divorces in the country and urged couples to look for ways to resolve conflict in the home.
“Divorces sometimes lead children into the streets as step-parents would be sexually abusing them,” she said.
She added that as the family move closer to an integrated society for all, she hopes that everyone participates in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies that develop family unit.
She also toured different stands that were set up by women from various sectors of the economy at the venue.