As part of Women’s Month commemoration and in pursuit of women’s socio-economic empowerment and advancement, Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Dikeledi Magadzi embarked on a campaign with a specific focus on the role of women.The commemoration took place on 25 August 2022 in Free State under the theme “Women’s social economic rights and empowerment: Building back better for women’s resilience”. At the heart of the deliberations during the gathering which was attended by approximately 200 women, was their role in curbing the scourge of water resource infrastructure vandalism due to the fact that this is affecting the delivery of water and sanitation services adversely. Delivering a keynote address, Deputy Minister Magadzi reprimanded severely the issue of gender-based violence and femicide in the strongest terms putting an emphasis on the fact that a lion’s share of households and families are spearheaded by women. Magadzi urged women in attendance to practice active citizenry by contributing towards eradicating vandalism of water resource infrastructure.
“I know that women are generally busy with their household chores and work but let us not be oblivious to these criminal elements. People who are responsible for the undesirable occurrence of vandalising of our water resource infrastructure are our children and brothers, we are also aware of where they sell those stolen goods, so let us play our role in trying to avert this phenomenon,” Magadzi stated.Furthermore, some of the issues discussed during the engagement were but are not limited to the following; self-sustainability of municipalities through revenue from the billing system, installation of water meters particularly to those who have connected illegally, the battle against pit latrines and bucket system eradication which are exacerbated by continuous erections of informal settlements, this is particularly rife in Free State. In addition to that, Magadzi reiterated the department’s commitment to working in partnership with municipalities and water boards to ensure that services are delivered to the people. The Deputy Minister also took it upon herself to encourage municipalities to spend the budget allocated to them in order to improve service delivery.