The Women’s Heritage Monument in Lilian Ngoi Square was hard to spot behind the unkempt garden, closed gates and dirty windows. The fountain outside has also dried up.

The proposal to build a monument in honor of the heroines was approved ten years ago and completed only in 2018. Then he remained idle.

Gender activist and CEO of Soul City, Fina Kodisang, said that women in this country stand on the shoulders of women activists who have sacrificed for us to achieve democratic freedoms.

“It is very insulting to observe the decline and neglect of the Monument to the Living Heritage of Women.

“This monument was intended not only to help us remember the role of women in the liberation struggle, but also to inspire future generations of women activists so that we can become a socially just society,” she said.

Kodisang said our country has not prioritized women and acted urgently when it comes to women’s issues.

“On the other hand, we need to stop investing these huge sums in symbolic projects when women are hungry on the ground, have no work and no start-up capital to create a small business,” she said.

“R28 million can make a big difference in the current situation of many women who are mostly black and poor,” Kodisang added.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Kingsol Tshabalala, called on MEC Mbali Hlophe to urgently repair shoddy work at the Women’s Living Heritage Monument, adding:

“As we celebrate Women’s Month, it is very sad that the Women’s Living Heritage Monument in Tshwane is still not fully operational.”

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He said the monument was erected in honor and memory of women who played a key role in the struggle against apartheid.

“This state-of-the-art monument, which cost more than 200 million rand, was completed in 2018 and almost another 80 million rand has been spent on commissioning the facility.

“Today, this monument is not operational due to poor quality work,” he said.

An inspection of the monument revealed that the roof was leaking, the elevators and fire hydrants were not working, and some lighting fixtures were still wrapped in protective plastic.

“We discovered that the statues of our nation’s heroines are hidden in the kitchen and are not being used to teach the youth and tourists about our history,” he said.

Chabalala said that the monument is not fulfilling its purpose.

“We demand that MEC Hlophe prioritizes correcting the shoddy work and ensure that the professional certificate is issued as soon as possible,” he said.

“This monument has huge potential to grow the local economy and create jobs in the tourism sector.”

DA Gauteng spokesperson for sports, arts, culture and recreation Willdry Peach said the monument has the potential to regenerate the city.

“We have a large number of informal traders in this area and this can be a catalyst for urban renewal in the Tshwane CBD.”

A representative of the department of sports, art, culture and recreation Namazwe Ntlokwana said that the department is preparing for inspection by the MEC.

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