The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) is saddened by the untimely passing of the Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) member, Councillor Constance ‘Connie’ Bapela of the City of Johannesburg.
In the 2011-2016 local government term, Bapela served as a member of the Governance & Inter governmental Working Group as well as a member of the Gauteng Women’s Commission. She was a member of the Gauteng PEC, Chairperson of the Gauteng Public Transport & Roads Working Group, and the Provincial Chairperson of the Gauteng Women’s Commission, which are roles she led with great valour and commitment. During her opening remarks at the first sitting of the Public Transport & Roads Working Group, Bapela challenged members to think beyond the realms of what Public Transport had been defined as. She was particularly committed to the plight of safety for women who use public transport to reach their destinations on a daily basis. Bapela indicated that sexual harassment is a daily occurrence for hundreds of women who use taxis, busses and all forms of public transport not only in South Africa, but the world. “If one asks a man about his number one priority when it comes to public transport he will most likely say ‘speed’. Ask a woman the same question and chances are that she will say ‘safety’, “she had highlighted. Her sentiments on gender based violence and the emancipation of women were thoroughly echoed in a campaign she launched at the Women’s Com- Dignitaries bid farewell at City of Johannesburg’s Council Chambers. Picure Enoch L.
mission Lekgotla in August 2017 condemning violence against women.
The local government sector has truly lost a wonderful leader in Cllr Bapela. Her dedication and contribution to the advancement of the local government agenda will live on.
Cllr Bapela was very instrumental in advocating for the institutionalisation of the separation of powers and functions at local government while she served as the Speaker of the City of Johannesburg. She was also vocal on councillor empowerment and welfare - fighting for uniformity between Councillors, Members of Parliament and the Provincial Legislature.
By Staff Reporter email@example.com