South Africa celebrates National Woman's Day - 9 August

Statement by the Acting President of SAITA on the commemoration of National Woman’s Month 2015.

Rosheda Muller(second right) with SAITA Women Leadership attending a ILO Computer literacy course which was held recently

Dearest women of this Wonderful, Magnificent and Energetic Nation.

History is peppered with amazing women from all walks of life who have impacted upon the lives of their fellow human beings. Mother Theresa, Albertina Sisulu, Marie Curie, and Eva Peron are but a few who come to mind. Whether it is business, politics, the sciences, or social pro-activity, women have, and continue to make their marks on society, bringing in change, initiating agendas, launching ideas and being the real mothers of invention.

The cliché “you hit a woman you hit a rock” resonates with each passing day! Anyone ignoring this profound statement does so at his peril, for while we are the fairer gender, we most certainly are not the weaker gender. Our roles in in our families and in society are defined by purpose, duty and personal circumstances and not by medieval perceptions. You need to take up your positions at the helms of industry alongside your male counterparts, reassured in the knowledge that you are not inferior but equal and in many instances…superior!

Women of SAITA and all over, my message to you for this auspicious month is:

  • Recognise your potential!
  • Stand up to oppression and say…NO MORE!
  • Seek knowledge for knowledge is power!
  • Mobilise yourselves for together we are formidable!

Today in South Africa women are empowered by legislative decree. However and understandably, we find it difficult to comprehend. This is particularly applicable to women in the informal economy who struggle daily to put food upon their tables, clothe their children, and if they’re lucky…buy something for themselves.

But, there is light at the end of the dark tunnel! Government has recognised our contribution to the economy and have begun rolling out programs which seek to improve our lives. I.T.U.P is one such program which has demonstrated a great measure of success and we commend Minister Lindiwe Zulu for initiating it. I have no doubt that many more will follow.

Ladies, we constitute upwards of 70% of the informal economy, we are therefore the major shareholders. This is power! Recognise it! While many municipalities and local authorities still do not recognise our significance, we shall continue our drive to educate them…with the help of government. In many instances you are the bread-winners. Don’t feel bad about that…feel proud!!! We are the bedrock upon which humanity is built upon. We give life to mankind. We are the mothers of the nation.

Aluta Continua!

Rosheda Muller

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INDIA. DP is irreparable, scrap it, say activists. Times of India (10 April 2015).

TANZANIA. College plans to identify trade opportunities for hawkers. Daily News (10 April 2015)  by Ludovick Kazoka.

INDIA. No street vendors, cycle rickshaws in Lajpat Nagar market: NGT. Zee News (8 April 2015) by PTI. New Delhi:

BOTSWANA. EDD is the way to go. Mmegi Online (8 April 2015).

USA. Five Courses: Hawkers' street food flair & more. Creative Loafing Tampa Bay (8 April 2015) by Meaghan Habuda.

INDIA. Hawkers may be allowed near Rishi Kapoor, Anil Ambani's Pali Hill residences. DNA India (8 April 2015) by Amrita Nayak Dutta.

ABU-DHABI. Abu Dhabi Municipality raid scares away street hawkers. Gulf News (7 April 2015).

SINGAPORE. Hawker centres to be spruced up with murals and art installations. Channel News Asia (5 April 2015) by Vimita Mohandas.

MALAYSIA. 'Development will be inclusive'. The Star Online (3 April 2015).

INDIA. 'Street vendors denied right to livelihood'. The Hindu (1 April 2015) by K.N. Umesh.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa: Xenophobic Violence in KZN - 'This Is a Black Easter for Foreigners'.

SINGAPORE. Singapore street food: stewed, sliced and steamed - video.

USA. Street vendors press city to legalize their trade.

StreetNet International

StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.

Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.

The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies