Women’s Day celebrations dampened by taxi strike

The Artscape celebrated Women’s Day a little differently this year due to the taxi strike.

The Artscape held it’s 17th Women’s Humanity Festival, themed Milestones: Celebrating, Supporting, Empowering Women of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, with a smaller group of people on Wednesday August 9, due to the violent taxi strike which forced many to stay home for fear of their safety.

The strike, by the SA National Taxi Council’s (Santaco) after city traffic officials impound taxis for various offences, left five people dead and many taxi commuters stranded.

The Cape Town leg of the Totalsports Women’s Race, which was supposed to take place in the city centre on the same day, had also been cancelled due to the taxi strike

It eventually came to an end on Thursday August 10, after the city and Santaco reached an agreement.

From left are Tasneem Sarguro from Wetton, Heather Lee from Ottery , Zainunesha Abraham’s, also from Ottery, Quanita Hassen from Welgelegen and Zubeida Begum Gaffoor from Rondebosch East

To make sure people remained safe, the iconic Women’s Humanity Walk, which was supposed to circuit around the Foreshore precinct, starting and finishing on the Artscape piazza, was moved onto the Artscape Piazza, and into the theatre, where the group enjoyed poetry about women empowerment, and exhibitions celebrating women in law, photography and exhibitions by women, as well as photographs by iconic women of South Africa.

The women in law supporting the exhibition are Ghislaine Barends, Judge Rehana Parker, Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux; former Artscape board member Adv Penelope Magona-Dano, Olewthu Ndungane, Seehaam Samaai and Azrah Manie

Awareness around gender-based violence was also part of the exhibition.

Lebo Diverse from Khayelitsha recites a poem.

Addressing the crowd before the march, Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux said the march was for all those who could not attend the celebration.

“This is for the people.

LGBTIQ representative Mitchell Darling from Gaansbaai with Petronella Linders from Manenberg.

“We are saying we are embracing whoever we want to be, we are embracing the LGBTIQ+ community, and we as women must support other women. The cultural practices that are still oppressing women must change.“

Explaining the change of route, she said: “We are walking in the footsteps of another women, another child, another young boy who can’t be here today, again because of violence.”

“Let’s take back our communities. This is our walk.”

Events still taking place during Women’s Month include:

  • Saturday August 26 – Launch of two books recently released in honour of Sindiwe Magona marking her 80 years: and . A presentation by I see U young women’s mentoring programme.
  • Sunday August 27 – FMR concert at Guga S’thebe in Langa

For more information, visit www.artscape.co.za