By Patricia Mokgohlwa MPL DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Women Five police officers are facing a criminal case and are currently being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) for the alleged rape of a woman wishing to report domestic violence the Wierdabrug police station. In response to my question (available here) Gauteng Police Commissioner Mzwandile Petros also confirms that the departmental cases have also been instituted against all members who were on duty the night of the incident. The DA welcomes the investigation but is disappointed that none of the police officers being investigated have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation because “no specific suspect has been identified”. The DA believes they are not fit to work with members of the public, and women in particular, until the cloud over their head is cleared. This is not enough. The allegations of rape are incredibly serious, not only because the perpetrators are those we are supposed to entrust with our safety, but also because the woman, in a desperate attempt to seek refuge from domestic violence, was further violated by police officials. The DA hopes that the investigation will be completed speedily and thoroughly, and that the perpetrators are brought to book. The DA also hopes that the provincial police commissioner will dismiss, arrest and prosecute any member found to be linked to the criminal case as indicated in his response.
Watty Watson MP
DA Chief Whip
In the Mpumalanga Section of the New Age of this past Tuesday, it is reported that members of the ANC Youth League were prevented by the DA from using the facilities at the Community Hall in Kameelrivier in the Dr JS Moroka Municipality on Saturday, 29 September 2012, because it was alleged that the DA had occupied the Community Hall illegally and had obtained a court order to prevent the ANCYL from using the hall.
The truth is that the DA councillor in that area, Prince Joseph Mahlangu had booked and paid for the rental as well as the deposit on behalf of the DA as far back as 19 September 2012, and in terms of the Municipal Rules also obtained a permit to enter the premises on Friday, 28 September 2012.
We have the official receipt and permit available to prove this.
Furthermore, the facts are that the DA decided to hold their Heritage Day celebrations on the last Saturday of Heritage Month and more than 600 supporters from the Ndebele, Tswana, Tsonga and Pedi people were represented – together with their Traditional Leaders – including the Dzunza king, King JS Mahlangu.
The accusation that the DA had obtained a court order preventing the ANCYL to use the facilities is devoid of all truth. The real truth is that the ANCYL had organised their rally at the adjoining sport stadium where ANCYL Deputy President Ronald Lamola and ANC Deputy Secretary General Thandi Modisi were to address the crowds – and the ANCYL organisers were loud hailing in the streets from early that morning.
However, by the end of the day only about 30 people had gathered at the stadium and it is obvious that the event could not take place with such a poor attendance.
The ANC and the ANCYL must heed the signs that they have lost the support of the community of Dr JS Moroka and must not hide their demise by blaming the DA.
Patricia Mokgohlwa MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Women
Financial mismanagement is one of the main reasons for Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in Gauteng closing their doors.
According to Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza there are 1 644 registered Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in Gauteng province.
The DA will propose that financial management training accompany the funding provided by the Department to ECDs. This would enable reasonable budgeting to take place allowing these crèches to function effectively. We also the urge the Social Development Department to work closely with the Gauteng Education Department as it forms part of this department’s core function.
Improper financial management at these pivotal centres have direct implications on children who are the beneficiaries of the critical service these centres render. ECDs play a vital role as gateway to primary education.
Without stable financial management, improvements to facilities, educational resources and staffing is limited. Funding that could be allocated to improve learning is not being utilised correctly.
A sustainable and prosperous future for Gauteng is dependent on a basic education system that equips the children of Gauteng with the skills to find a job.
These ECDs play a vital role in laying the foundation for the future education activities of the children of our province, and must be properly resourced to fulfil this seminal responsibility.
Patricia Mokgohlwa MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Women
I recently visited the Arebaokeng Home Based Care centre in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni as part of the DA Gauteng caucus’ women’s month activities. Arebaokeng is an NGO that aims to uplift the lives of women who have no formal education or skills. By educating these women and assisting them in developing a trade, the centre allows these women to become self sufficient and economically viable.
A number of the women at the centre have learnt trades such as baking, sewing and wood work, which they now use as a means to care for themselves and their families. This care centre assists up to 300 women daily and their aftercare facility provides support to about 125 learners.
While women now have more access to opportunities, rights and services than 20 years ago, they still bear the burdens of poverty, inequality and unemployment. The focus on Government to facilitate the empowerment of women to become equal participants in the economic, social and political spheres is not viable, as in many cases only a handful of people benefit.
Centre’s such as Arebaokeng are of more use to women as they offer tools to become self sufficient and successful. I will ask the Gauteng Social Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu what assistance centres that encourage skills development receive from the Department.
Patricia Mokgohlwa MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Women
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has blatantly ignored the plight of women in the province by failing to implement the DA motion that was passed in the Gauteng Legislature last year.
In a written response to my question regarding the implementation of the motion, the Premier clearly states that maintenance defaulters in the province are dealt with by the courts, adding the provincial government has no ability to enforce maintenance orders.
This contradicts the motion that was adopted late last year.
The motion resolves that the Gauteng Provincial Government works with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and with law enforcement agencies to ensure that child maintenance is properly enforced through various means including the use of road blocks.
Furthermore, that an awareness campaign was to be considered to inform parents of their rights and responsibilities with regard to maintenance payments for children.
The figures reflect a dire need for intervention. There are currently 1549 outstanding warrants of arrest for maintenance defaulters in the province.
KAREN DE KOCK, LPW
DA NOORD-KAAP: WOORODVOEDER VAN GESONDHEID
‘n Geestelike gestremde man is in die aanhouding-selle van die Calvinia polisie stasie verkrag. Dit nadat die Noord-Kaapse Departement van Gesondheid hulle voete sleep om geskikte versorgings fasiliteite in werking te stel.
Die DA het ‘n brief aan die LUR van Gesondheid, Mxolisa Soktasha, gerig om hom te waarsku dat sy departement meer betrokke raak as medepligte ten opsigte van afstootlike oortredings van die menslike regte van geestelike siek mense in die provinsie.
Geestelike gestremdes regoor die Noord-Kaap bly tans by hulle huise sonder geskikte versorgings fasiliteite terwyl die meerderheid van staatspasiënte in Kimberley in die gevangenis aangehou word as ‘n lang-termyn reëling. Dit is as gevolg daarvan dat die departement van gesondheid versuim het om geskikte tydelike voorsiening vir geestelike siek mense te maak terwyl die bouwerk van die Kimberley Hospitaal nog steeds nie voltooi is. Dit weens vertragings as gevolg van ‘n hofsaak rondom dié kontrak.
Daar is tans net 12 beddens vir staatspasiënte in die hele provinsie. Dit is by die Wes-Einde Hospitaal te Kimberley, sowat 11 uur se ry van Calvinia.
Die Calvinia man was gearresteer nadat sy gedrag by die huis wat hy met sy 86-jarige ma deel, buite beheer was. Die man ontvang medikasie vir sy geestelike siekte vanaf die plaaslike kliniek, maar daar is geen fasiliteite beskikbaar vir hom om geskikte versorging te kry nie. Hy was in die aanhouding-selle verkrag na sy arrestasie.
Die DA is tans besig om die familie te assisteer om ‘n aansoek te doen vir oorplasing na die Wes-Einde Hospitaal in Kimberley, maar dit is onwaarskynlik dat dit sal slaag aangesien daar ‘n massiewe waglys is.
Die departement moet onmiddelik voorsiening maak om die versorgings opsies vir geestelike siek mense uit te brei anders kan daar wetlike implikasies wees tydens soortgelyke tragedies.
Sizwe Mchunu MPP
Leader of the Democratic Alliance in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature
THE Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal calls on KZN Premier, Zweli Mkhize, to clarify whether his commitment to implementing the Youth Wage Subsidy in the province still stands following yesterday’s comments by Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, which ruled out imposing a youth wage subsidy in the foreseeable future.
Patel’s description of the Youth Wage Subsidy as a “kragdadige” (forceful) approach is again indicative of the hold that trade unions have on government. According to Patel, the issue has been widened to include more concerned parties, with the possibility that private and public sector initiatives may be added to existing policies which include the expanded public works and the community work programmes. Patel has further stated that “no single mechanism can address the challenge of youth unemployment”.
The reality is that government has not come up with an alternative to the Youth Wage Subsidy. All it has offered is a proposal for a youth employment committee under Nedlac, which would consider specific measures to boost employment for young workers. Given the unemployment crisis in our country, this is simply not good enough.
Where government’s plans lack vision and detail, the Youth Wage Subsidy is a comprehensive programme with the potential to drastically reduce unemployment in KwaZulu-Natal. Given yesterday’s comments, it would appear that the Premier’s earlier commitment, to implement the Youth Wage Subsidy in KwaZulu-Natal, is under serious threat.
The DA calls on the Premier to clarify whether Patel’s comments extend to KwaZulu-Natal and whether he, in fact, has the authority to contest this opinion. The future of countless unemployed young people in our province depends on how the Premier deals with this challenge.
Veliswa Mvenya MPL
DA Eastern Cape Spokesperson
Women’s Month has little meaning to rural villagers in the former Transkei, who do not have access to the most of basic rights, namely water. Part of the daily grind of the women of Mgomanzi Administrative Area in the Mquma Municipality is a five kilometre walk to fetch water from a single pump in the veld.
During an outreach campaign on Saturday (subs: 11 August) I was horrified to witness the oppression still suffered by the women of Mgomanzi. They are forced to collect muddy water from the pump because they cannot afford the rate of R40 to have 20 liters of water delivered to their homes by a local entrepreneur. The walk to the pump and back home is also a dangerous one: a woman was raped en route from the pump recently.
Water is a basic human right. As we celebrate Women’s Month, it is unacceptable that our citizens have not seen any of the fruits of 18 years of democracy. I will be meeting with the Superintendent-General of the Department of Local Government as a matter of urgency to discuss why no service delivery has taken place in this village and how the situation can be rectified.
The DA believes that service delivery and the eradication of inequality are cornerstones to ensure a bright and happy future for South Africa. A DA-led government will not forsake rural communities.
Patricia Mokgohlwa, MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Gender Issues
Today I visited two shelters for abused women in the Johannesburg CBD, Bethany House and the Frida Hartley Centre, with DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Community Safety Kate Lorimer and Housing Spokesperson Janet Semple.
As part of Women’s Month, the DA’s visit investigated the plight of abused women in the city and the challenges they face on a daily basis. The two centres cater for 40 women who have experienced sexual, physical and mentally abuse.
We were informed that despite repeated attempts to obtain assistance from the Gauteng Provincial Government, nothing was forthcoming. Neither of these shelters receive any form of assistance from the provincial government and are dependent on the goodwill of private funders. It was pointed out that the Department’s inability to process applications for assistance or provide the shelters with feedback on their applications deterred them from seeking any further support.
Shelters such as Bethany House and the Frida Hartley Centre are crucial to offer support to vulnerable women in dire need of assistance.
I will request that Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza outline her department’s strategy to provide assistance and support for shelters across the province that cater for vulnerable women. I will also submit questions to the MEC to establish what her department is doing to make it easier for these shelters to receive the necessary support.
Women as care givers and home makers are the cornerstone of our society. Without adequate support or safe havens to turn to women risk being the most vulnerable in society, especially because abused women are often dependant on the perpetrators of violence.
Our visit today again highlighted the need for the provincial government to intensify its efforts to ensure that the safety, security and development of women in the province are prioritised.
Janet Semple, DA MPL
South African research suggests there is a strong educational influence on the decision of women to participate in the economy – in other words, whether they look for work or not depends on how well educated they are.
According to the World Economic Forum, the quality of our state education system ranks 133 in the world, out of 142 countries. This explains – better than anything else – why more than half of young South Africans are unable to find work.
Every child has the right to a decent education that will unlock the job opportunities still denied to so many. The time has come to put in place a new plan for education that puts the rights of the learners above everything else and makes the classroom the focal location of education policy.
Perhaps the women of South Africa should consider another march to the Union Buildings, this time to demand quality education for their children? The budget for education is available so if the ruling party is serious about addressing these issues, it must take political leadership now. Without such leadership, motions such as this are just words without action.