Call for safety in Noord Street

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) has called on Gauteng MEC for community safety Firoz Cachalia and his local government counterpart, Qedani Mahlangu, to ensure the safety of people using the Noord Street taxi rank - especially women.

The call forms part of key resolutions tabled at the end of a two-day conference held in Kwazulu-Natal to seek ways of eliminating women abuse in this country.

The matter involving Nwabisa Ngcukana topped the agenda. Ngcukana was sexually assaulted by taxi operators for wearing a miniskirt.

The incident provoked a national outcry from the government, taxi organisations, women's rights groups and the general public.

Her assault came only months after an Umlazi woman, Zandile Mpanza, was assaulted last July and forced to parade naked by a group of Seventeen Men's Hostel dwellers for wearing pants in the vicinity.

Her home was vandalised and she has sincebeen living with relatives.

National CGE chairman Nomboniso Gasa said the conference decided that Cachalia and Mahlangu should ensure that women were safe to use the notorious Noord Street rank.

"What happened there should not have happened in the first place and it must not happen again," Gasa said. "Women have the right to live their lives to the full and that includes wearing whatever they feel comfortable with."

She said the conference also resolved to assess the progress made with the implementation of the national strategy on the status of women.