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Sod Turning ceremony at Olivenhoutbosch in commemoration of women of 1956.

Department of Human Settlement in conjunction with City of Tshwane, Gauteng Province, SAWIC (South African Women In Construction) & ASEDA held a ceremony at Olivenhoutbosch Pretoria South where the women in the community are empowered and form part of the plan in construction where it used to be a male dominant field.

Member of South Africa Women In Construction (SAWIC) (Gauteng Province) Ms Thami Siwisi from Zenande Primary Cooperative next to the plan that the Human Settlement Department and partners project that will take 3 years to complete.The idea was born from the 1956 event where by 20 000 women matched to the Union Building in Pretoria to make their mark, wanted to be heard and taken seriously. One of the community women actually unpacked this idea and said that men are well known of building houses but women build with a soul and its women still who are left to make those houses homes, who take the primary care of those houses.

The government has injected R50 million for next 3 years for this project whereby 20 000 houses will be built per province. With the 30% of the government’s budget being given to women the question was asked why women can’t also be part of Construction to be empowered economically because women own entities and not just contractors.

The officials , the SAWIC members from other South African Provinces, the community of Olivenhoutbosch in Pretoria.Women will build this houses over a period of time given and the other significant aim was to give those people who are staying in backyards their own homes without rentals but with 100% full ownership.

The keynote speaker was the deputy minister of human settlement Ms Zou Kota Fredericks and she said that the department of human Settlement is very proud of the City of Tshwane because even in tough times of protests and a whole lot of challenges the municipality of Tshwane continues to steadfast, pioneering the economic empowerment of women in terms of construction.

She also said that the partnership between the community and the municipalities which is the government makes the department work a bit easier. This event is celebrating women’s work in their homes presently because the people must live today for tomorrow. Human settlement partnered particularly with SAWIC for women and mothers to build houses, homes and communities.

The deputy minister also highlighted the importance of women being economically empowered, saying that even the women abuse will be a thing of the pat and could be better handled as most women stay in abusive relationships because they don’t have hope, they don’t have jobs and they don’t think they can ever be independent and earn a living. She urged the community and not just women not to lose hope and think that there is no future because future is in one’s hands. She said women are advised to be part of SAWIC, to also form corporatives where they can do construction, gardening , home based care to list a few.

They don’t need anything as the department will train them and give them the relevant skills. On the highlight she also mentioned the Human Settlement activities that occurred during the week, Tuesday at Limpopo and Thursday at Olivenhoutbosch then wrapped it by saying the department is touching lives of South African citizens every day.

The local councillor Mr Cedric Tsela also gave some few words, saying the department has made a commitment to empower women, he advised women to build quality houses and not disappoint to avoid complains from men. He also said with that kind of money it means in 2018 when the project is done there will be women millionaires at Olivenhoutbosch.

One of the SAWIC members in the Gauteng Province Ms Thami Siwisa but originally from Zenande Primary Cooperative of 7 members explained the role where an ordinary woman can be part of SAWIC by being part of a cooperative, and that SAWIC negotiates with Provincial government to ensure that cooperatives becomes part of the project.

Another event on calendar to celebrate women’s month is style. The Department of Human Settlement and its partners at work.

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