29 AUGUST 2019

Program Director, please allow me to welcome and express our heartfelt privilege to host our distinguished guests tonight:
 Members of Parliament,
 Former Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Hon. Lindiwe Maseko,
 Former Chairperson of Committees of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Hon Doreen Senokoanyane,
 Our current Deputy Chairperson of Committees, Hon Mpapa Kanyane,
 Deputy Chief Whip and Chairperson of the GPL Multi-Party Women’s Caucus, Hon. Thokozile Magagula,
 Members of the Legislature,
 Members of the Executive Council,
 Deputy Speaker, Hon. Nomvuyo Mhlakaza-Manamela, Chairperson of Committees, Hon. Sizakele Malobane and MEC of Finance, Hon. Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in absentia, and noting their apologies.
 Secretary to the Legislature, Mr Peter Skosana and GPL management.
 Speakers of Municipalities and Members of Municipal Councils.
 Our 1956 Stalwarts:
o Mme Elizabeth Masangane,
o Mme Andronica Matlala, and
o Mme Adelaide Zuma.
 The Bertha Gxowa Foundation Board of Trustees.
 Deputy Chairperson of the Olieven Business Forum, |
 Top 100 Difference Maker: DMI SA
 The Award Winning Buyisiwe Khoza
We also welcome and thank our sponsors:
 Birchwood & O R Tambo Conference Centre, CocaCola, Heineken and Forbes.
 And not forgetting our previous winners of the Vita Basadi Awards 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
 Distinguished Guests, Friends and Compatriots – all protocol observed.

 When the Women of South Africa converged at the Union Buildings 63 years ago, from every corner of South Africa, they created one of the enduring landmarks of our country’s history. They declared that women would insist on their role in making history.

 Then, they vowed to a stubborn oppressor that they would resist and fight for liberation. Today the women of our country can affirm the wisdom and farsightedness of those who declared, “ Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ imbokodo: uzokufa”.

 The inclusion of women in key decision-making processes of Legislative sector, government and the private sector underlines the weight of the pledge for women of South Africa to join hands with us as the Legislature, the state and our various stakeholders for unity, and social development. This is a daunting task.

 The legacy of oppression weighs heavily on women. As long as women are bound by poverty and as long as they are looked down upon, human rights will lack substance.
 As long as outmoded ways of thinking prevent women from making a meaningful contribution to society, progress will be slow.

 It is a great pleasure to be here today to witness yet another prestigious event of the Vita Basadi Awards. Today we are celebrating the 5th Annual Vita Basadi Awards ceremony. I am so grateful to be amongst women with exclusive ensemble of the outfits, with smiles, harmony, confidence and self-assurance.

 I extend my greetings to you all. I have also seen quiet a number of men in this precious event of our beautiful Women, bo-Ntate ba rona you are highly welcome and we honor you with your presence. You have shown us how sweet you love us but not only that, also your commitment to protecting us as women who have brought you to this planet called earth, you are welcome.

 Let me hasten to appreciate our sponsors. We would not have been here if you were left outside in ensuring that this event becomes a success. We know some sponsors could not make it though they expressed their full support for this initiative especially in celebrating the Women’s’ month, but those who were able to come to the party, we thank you very much and we know that this relationship will go a long way.

 Program Director; let me emphasize that, if the nation refuses to acknowledge the equal role of more than half of itself, it is doomed to failure.

 Let me once more, dedicate this award ceremony to the enduring spirit of the strong women of our country and our province who walked the difficult path of the struggle to free our country from the demons of oppression,

 I speak of Mam Lilian Ngoyi, Mam Chalotte Maxeke, Mam’ Sophie De Bruyn, Mam Winnie Mandela, Mam Albertina Sisulu, Mam Bertha Gxowa.
 These Women and many others dedicated their lifetime fighting for our freedom and the emancipation of women. Although the road ahead is still very long, but through their sweat and blood we now have women representation in leadership positions at political and executive level.

 Women must continue to seize the opportunities provided by our democratic government to play their rightful role in in seriously transforming our society and sustaining economic growth by ensuring that as women we are central in the implementation of the National Developmental Plan.

 Lastly, may I indicate that:
 This year the competition was very tough, 1031 (One Thousand and Thirty-One) Women were nominated for the 5th GPL Vita Basadi Awards.

 All the nominations showed sterling work done by women in the communities of Gauteng, women with an unwavering spirit of self-empowerment.

 For us, all the nominees are winners, but since we had such a huge response this year, we will only announce the top shortlisted nominees for each Award Category, before we announce winners and runners up.

 Let me indicate however, that many nominations were eliminated by the judges, because the nominators only jotted one sentence as a motivation for the Award. Surely you know you can’t convince the Awards judges with one sentence to motivate for an Award.

 Also, it appeared that the dominant regions in submitting nominations are Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. Therefore, we encourage other regions to submit nominations, so that the whole of Gauteng is represented in the Awards.