Today I would like to pay tribute to the women who are usually left unacknowledged in the fanfare of women’s month events.
The grandmothers and mothers who have survived the heartbreak of being ripped from the neighbourhoods of their birth and dumped in dusty suburbs amongst strangers.
Mothers in suburbs like Lavender Hill, Langa, Philippi and Mannenberg, who every day worry that today it will be their child killed in the crossfire of gang wars.
I also want to particular pay respect to the bravery of women in informal settlements.
Everyday, they and their children face enormous risks in walking at night through dark, unlit narrow alleys to reach a toilet they share with dozens of others.
Not even the police are prepared to patrol in these dangerous neighbourhoods and the unlit alleys.
It is the bravery of these women that our country should really be acknowledging this month.
I also want to recognise this government’s responses to these brave women.
For those women awaiting affordable accommodation in the neighbourhoods they work in or were evicted from: you deny it.
For those excited about the increasing delivery of housing in Cape Town: you collapse it.
For those waiting for lighting and electricity: it is stolen and the thieves are protected.
For those who arrive homeless in our city: you fine them.
For those trying to get to school or work affordably, women and girls must travel in train carriages that are always late and always always overcrowded.
Here they are groped, robbed and sometimes are left with semen on their dresses as they start their day at work.
This is the cost of the ANC’s corruption.
For those who would like to use cheaper, safer MyCiTi buses to get to work or school each day – I provided that opportunity for 5 years, but now the DA has put a stop to that.
This month in 1956, women of all races and classes stood together against oppression.
GOOD pays tribute to their efforts and bravely in fighting unjust treatment.
But I am sorry that their fight for justice is still not won.