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We must stand up and protect women

Date: 2023-08-29 10:37:07

We must stand up and protect women

IT IS with a heavy heart that I pen this column to mark the end of Women’s Month on a very sombre note. This follows the brutal killing of two elderly women in the south of Durban. We were hoping to end what has been a great Women’s Month on a high note, given the several womenorientated empowerment programmes held by the City throughout the month. Instead, we are now mourning the death of Zanele Doris Mbuso, 61, and Moni Sophia Xulu, 81, who were reported missing tragically on Women’s Day on 9 August. Their bodies were later found in a shallow grave outside their workplace. 

We want to commend the South African Police for moving swiftly to arrest the perpetrator and we have full confidence that the justice system won’t fail the Xulu and Mbuso families. We want to reiterate government’s call for 365 days of activism against gender-based violence and femicide. If there was a time to intensify this fight, it is now. We will never tire of calling on men to take a stand against all forms of abuse and to protect the most vulnerable in society. We commit as the City to continue working hard to make eThekwini Municipality the most livable and safest place for all, including the elderly. This can only be achieved by creating a conducive environment for investors, which will in turn bring job opportunities. 

Therefore, I am happy to announce that we recently unveiled a R1.9 billion development, the Giba Business Estate near Tshelimnyama. This development will create 400 jobs during the construction phase and 5 000 permanent jobs post-construction. This project forms part of the broader logistics and industrial corridor improvement project that will integrate the Durban, Free State and Gauteng logistics corridor. I want to emphasise that we remain committed to resolving water challenges, particularly in areas where there is inadequate water infrastructure. Recently, we held an izimbizo in Folweni, uMlazi, KwaMashu, and Ntuzuma where residents had the opportunity to air their grievances. This demonstrates that we are a caring City that listens to the needs of its residents.

The imbizo also provided a platform to make tangible interventions and share our plans to resolve these challenges in communities. Next week, we will be meeting with the community of Umbumbulu and Adams to report on the progress the City is making to improve water infrastructure in these communities. We have also launched the newly constructed Shongweni Water Reservoir. The commissioning of this reservoir has improved water supply in some parts of Zwelibomvu, Ofudu, Salem, and Clifton. A pipeline upgrade to improve water supply in KwaNyuswa is also at an advanced stage. The upgrade plans to augment the existing pipeline that receives water from the Thandokuhle Reservoir. We are steadily working to maintain infrastructure to ensure supply.