ACTIVE: Mayor De Lille with women in Kewtown. CREDIT: Bertram Malgas
A woman's work is never done, and that’s why Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille visited the blokke in Kewtown this week, to thank the ladies that are part of the City’s Women in Rent Stock Programme.

De Lille, along with Alderman JP Smith, also rolled up their sleeves to join the women in cleaning up the area.

The programme was started last year, after the City reached out to communities asking for their help to address social problems in their areas.

De Lille says the City is empowering these women to take ownership of their communities and rise above their problems.

“We discussed how it can be done and the community came up with ideas, which led to the establishment of this programme,” the mayor explained.

The woman, who all live in council homes, have undergone training and are currently employed through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

They are equipped to address safety concerns in their area, provide counselling and assist in cases of substance abuse and domestic violence.

Other duties include craft work, cleaning up illegal dumping, and doing home-based care.

OPERATION CLEAN-UP: Women in Rent Stock Programme. CREDIT: Bertram Malgas


One of the residents benefiting from home-based care is Mariam Heathley, 63, of Block 15.

Mariam became bedridden after suffering five strokes and both her legs were amputated due to Type one diabetes.

Shameemah Davids, 45, assists Mariam’s two daughters in looking after her.

Shameema says: “It’s nice to do something good for others that puts a smile on their faces.”

Mariam has requested the City to move her to a ground floor flat.

Daughter Wardia says to get her mom out of the flat, they wrap Mariam in a blanket and ask eight boys to carry her down the stairs.

The mayor thanked the woman for their selfless service.

“You are the real mothers of our community. We appreciate your work.”