North West to Prioritise Services to the Vulnerable
Pretoria - North West Premier Thandi Modise says the provincial government has taken a firm decision to prioritise services to the vulnerable.
Modise was speaking at the provincial Women's Day celebration event held in Manthe, outside Tang, on Friday.
"We have taken a decision that we are going to start building [homes] for the elderly, orphans and child-headed families..."
Modise said her administration would stop at nothing to ensure that people in the province are empowered and that their right to a decent life is respected.
She lashed out at schools that expelled students whose parents cannot afford to pay their tuition.
"Schools have no right to expel students just because they can't pay school fees. We will make sure that no child is denied education because of financial difficulties at home," she said.
Modise cautioned shebeens that are operating near schools and churches, saying their licences will be withdrawn.
She acknowledged the role played by women of yesteryear in several parts of the province against the imposition of the pass laws.
"We are also inspired by the women of Zeerust -- who in April 1957 carried out mass protest action against the imposition of the pass laws and the deposing of their traditional leader Abraham Moiloa by the apartheid regime --for having stood firmly against the imposition of pass laws on Bahurutshe, and women in particular."
Maria Matlakala, 91, from Bucstein, was among those who attended the provincial celebration. She said she was moved by the premier's promise to priorities vulnerable groups.
"I have been touched by what I have heard here today. It is especially gratifying to hear our premier speak so fervently about the rights of women. It is a great achievement for the current government, considering what this country went through in the past."
Baeti Motsamai, 79, from Mahikeng, said the commemoration reminded her of the dark days of the struggle when she worked in Johannesburg.
"I am very happy to see the rewards of one of the most audacious struggles. When Mandela was arrested, we used to donate R3 every month. The money was collected to help in the fight against the injustices of racial oppression. At the time, we worshiped at St Luke's Church with Archbishop Tutu and his wife Leah," said the elated Motsamai.
Mpeile Mothibi, 75, said she was very happy that women in the province play a critical role in leadership positions in government and business.
"My mother was a Congress secretary and she would have been very happy to see what the democratic South Africa achieved," she said.
Modise also decried the scourge of rape and other cases of gender-based violence that are currently ravaging much of the province.
This was echoed by Bishop Daniel Matebesi, who called on all men to demonstrate their seriousness in the fight against rape by signing the pledge against rape and women abuse.
Modise was accompanied by Social Development MEC Colin Maine, the Mayor of Greater Taung Local Municipality Kaone Lobelo, and Kgosi Nyoko Motlhabane of Batlhaping Ba Ga Maidi among others.