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Women learn about their rights

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Ward 89 councillor Monde Nqulwana addressing women during the event.PHOTO: unathi obose
Ward 89 councillor Monde Nqulwana addressing women during the event.PHOTO: unathi obose

Scores of women from Ward 89 gathered at Site B Community Hall for a special event dedicated at women on Monday 18 October.

The event was organised by the outgoing ward councillor Monde Nqulwana in partnership with the City’s Department of Social Development and provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism. He described the event as a women empowerment initiative, for women are the common victims in society.

“Well, there’s an outcry from women, especially those who are in the middle age (35-55 years old), they feel as if they are marginalised. They feel that whenever we organise events we only look at youth, senior citizens or physically challenged people. They feel that there is nothing happening on their behalf.”

Nqulwana said the City and province decided to organise something that would talk to women’s needs. “We organised social workers from the City’s department of Social Development to talk to them about gender based violence, (GBV) and the Western Cape Economic Development and Tourism to talk to them about the rights of the consumers. We believe these are some of the things affecting them on a daily basis.”

The event was funded by the ward allocation budget.

Nqulwana stated that the event was one of his final events ahead of the local government elections on Monday 1 November. “I’ve been in the City for 10 years working with the community. There are a lot of programmes I initiated during my tenure as ward councillor, including the distribution of sanitary towels to all the high schools in my ward. Also, working closely with people living with disability and elders and supporting all the youth programmes in my community.” He added that hundreds of people were relocated to new houses, including TRAs [WHAT ARE THESE?].

Veronica Keyise, consumer educator from the Consumer Protector’s office in the provincial department of Economic Development and Tourism, said their aim is to equip women about their rights as customers.

“Many people don’t know their rights as customers,” she said. “Even if you tell them about their rights they are scared to exercise them. So we encourage them not to hesitate to use them and they mustn’t be intimidated by shop owners.”

Keyise advised them to keep their receipts as proof of purchase as they are needed to return products.

“If a customer has any complaints about whatever she or he bought from the shop,” she said. “He or she must bring it back with the receipt when they return it. And if the customer is not happy about the services that he or she received from the shop they must first report it to the shop manager before they call our office.”

Keyise said they also provide advice to those who need it. “People are not coming to our office only when they have a complaint. We are allowing them to come even when they need advice or they can call our call centre on 0800 007081.”

Resident Nolufefe Sime (49) from France informal settlement described the event as informative.

“As women are the most victims either at home or we go out shopping because we don’t know our rights as consumers,” she said. “And sometimes these big retail shops take advantage of us when we return their items.”

Sime urged men to stop killing women and children, who live in fear as they do not know who is going to die next.

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