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Women's Day in Vrygrond

Well-known writer Sindiwe Magona challenged women in the community to ensure that all young people attend school.  She was speaking at the Women’s Day event arranged in Vrygrond by Safer Together in collaboration with the Vrygrond Community Development Trust. The event was attended by sixty women of all ages, from Vrygrond, Marina da Gama, Muizenberg, Retreat and St James.  

If the Government spent more money in ensuring that the education of our young people worked, they would not have to spend so much on keeping people in prison!  Magona also appealed to the women not to give money to young people or street-corner beggars, as that was the surest way of keeping them in dire poverty, and on the streets.  “Rather give to registered organisations that rehabilitate people, and help them to improve their own situation.” 

She also criticised the child grant system, giving young women “too little money to look after a child”, and keeping them dependent and in poverty – instead of helping them to take responsibility for their own lives.  Sindiwe, who grew up in Blouvlei near Vrygrond and was then forcibly removed to Guguletu, shared experiences of her life from poverty and being stranded and desperate at age 23 with three children, when her husband had left her, to a career at the United Nations in New York.

On her retirement she returned to South Africa and is now a writer living in Marina Da Gama. She credits her determination to keep improving her education for her success.  She said her mother had told her, “Education is the one husband that can never leave you”, and urged women to improve their education.  “Even if you are 55, it can still make a huge difference in your and your family’s life”.

Melanie Burke with 3 generations from one family

Sindiwe Magona with Truida Prekel