The Lwazi initiative originally started in 2015, when the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services launched a website for women in the community of Tlhabane in North West to combat gender-based violence (GBV) through ICT training.

This followed a campaign launched the year before called “Making Tlhabane a Safer and Friendly Township for Women and Children”, which was part of the 365 days of no violence against women and children.

The DTPS has previously participated the International Telecommunications Union programme called Gender Equality Mainstreaming – Technology (GEM-Tech), which honours women for their contribution in the ICT sector.

Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize explained the motivation to launch the Lwazi programme in Tlhabane:

“Through this website, women will be able to include their business profiles, access more business information and also give them the opportunity to network in their community.

The website will also act as a support mechanism for women who have been victims of gender based violence by providing information of local councillors, police, and support groups in the area to assist those affected.”

Lwazi is now growing and changing from its roots in Tlhabane. Beginning in Kimberley, the programme is set to provide ICT skills training to women in other parts of the country to continue the fight against gender inequality and GBV.

To see the Deputy Minister’s full speech at the launch of the Thlabane website, click on the button below.

Full Speech