This speech was delivered by Veliswa Mvenya MPL, in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Cape Town on Tuesday during the debate on International Day of Rural Women.
Honourable Chairperson, Honourable Members, Honourable Ministers present and members of the public. It gives me great pleasure to be given an opportunity to speak on behalf of my women from my home. I was born and bred in the deep rural area of Ngqamakhwe in the Eastern Cape. I was a rural girl and now I am a rural woman.
I still spend my weekends with my family in Ngqamakhwe, so I know exactly what is going on there. As a rural girl, I used to fetch water from the river to cook and bath. Today, I see other rural women fetching water from the river and I can see many of them suffering on hot and rainy days.
I am one of the fortunate women in South Africa who does not have to do this anymore because I can afford to buy water tanks.
In King Williams Town, there is a project that is only four kilometres away from our provincial legislature; it is called Sophakama Sonke Women Coop. It is funded by Social Development. Eight years ago, it applied for an irrigation scheme as they are involved in crop farming. The money was misused by the officials of the department and a subsequent investigation was conducted with no consequences for those implicated.
Women walk uphill for about