Inner City Gazette - - Front Page -

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 news@in­ner-city-gazette.co.za

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