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SA: Sindisiwe Chikunga, Address by Deputy Minister of Transport, at the occasion of the 14th Leadership Development Conference for Women in Law Enforcement, Indaba Hotel Fourway, Johannesburg (25/05/22)


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SA: Sindisiwe Chikunga, Address by Deputy Minister of Transport, at the occasion of the 14th Leadership Development Conference for Women in Law Enforcement, Indaba Hotel Fourway, Johannesburg (25/05/22)

25th May 2022


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Programme Director
MEC of Transport and Community Safety and Liason in KwaZulu: Ms Peggy Nkonyeni
Chairperson of Women In Law Enforcement: Ms L Modiba
Founder and Executive Director of the SA LGTBQ: Steve Letsike
Distinguished Conference Speakers
Women in Law Enforcement across the three Spheres of Government
Civil Society Organizations present
Representatives from the Academia
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen;



I must thank the organisers of this very progressive and transformative event that for all intents and purposes attempts to ensure we all commit effort and resources to resolving the challenges of inequality in our society.

Programme Director;


We hold this important conference during a very important day in history, when our continent celebrates Africa Day. The essence of being African speaks of humility and humanity, it speaks of protection of family and national values, dignity and national pride. Africa is distinctly unique amongst all seven continents because of its rich diverse cultural heritage, endowed with a wealth of natural resources offering breath-taking tourists attractions, we have one of the longest river Nile and the largest desert the Sahara desert, with the world’s largest waterfall, being the Victoria falls in Zimbabwe. The African ancestry fibre commands respect for respectful communal living, which is premised on the rule of law that seek to cultivate unity, humanity and the sacrosanctity of life.

How shameful, that as we commemorate and celebrate what makes Africa unique, along side we have to painfully face the realities brought about by Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) which is coupled by a legacy of inequality, poverty and unemployment. Many of us have heard on the news and read in different platforms of the brutal killings of very young girl children, who have been victims of GBVF.

Today, we are having this 14th Leadership Development Conference for Women In Law Enforcement, which means we have had this meeting for 14 years. I am hopeful that this conference will touch on and share practical measures and experiences taken by Women leaders in Law Enforcement across the country in maintaining law and order but also in fighting the scourge of GBVF. 

I would request that at this point we rise as women, we rise as mothers, we arise as pillars of this nation and observe a moment of silent for all the victims of GBVF, the recent one being Singwa Namhla Mtwa Hlehle…May their souls rest in peace.

The Bill Of Rights: The Legislative Bedrock of Our National Transformation Agenda

Programme Director;

The Constitution makes us understand that the Bill of Rights is itself a cornerstone of our democracy, because it enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.

It is therefore demanded that we as representative of the public and all organs of the state and many of us participating here must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights.

Today is therefore not a meeting of convenience among us, but more importantly to listen, share ideas amongst ourselves, take stock on progress made thus far and hereafter actively contribute resources, effort and time to improve the pace at which we attend to these aspirations.

We meet thus with a view to find ways through which we can work together to remove barriers that block the progress of women, empower persons with disabilities, and ensuring that today’s youth has a brighter future in law enforcement.

It is for instance our responsibility to commit and work towards reversing the fortunes of women by continuing to contribute to building a society in which, “Every citizen has the right to choose their trade, occupation or profession freely” unquote. Bill of Right

South Africa’s National Development Plan – Vision 2030

Ladies and gentlemen;

The essence of the National Development Plan Vision 2030 has its emphasis on the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequality by 2030 enjoining all of South Africa to support these aspirations through actions some which this conference will spell out over the course of its sitting.

The NDP also assures us that South Africa can realise these noble goals by relying on the energies of its people, growing the economy.

Building capabilities, enhancing the capacities of the state, and promoting leadership and partnership throughout society.

We certainly have come together because we know we can rely on each other’s experiences and that collectively the participants here possess the wealth of knowledge that certainly shed light on a way forward.

By focusing on the development of women leadership in the sector we are again bringing ourselves in stride with the objective of building capabilities of women as individual managing teams and the extent to which this responds to government’s priority to strengthen capacities of the state cannot be overemphasised.

By bringing together different institutional elements of law enforcement we are certainly answering to the important call to build partnerships across law enforcement and equally across society towards development of safer communities. 

Programme Director,

This tells us that the sector must thus move in tandem with the overall aim of transforming society, because the transformation of law enforcement from within is essentially a critical component of society’s broadest transformation.

We thus transform South Africa sector by sector and today we have come back to renew our resolve and plan ahead for actions that shall add greater impact to our transformation-oriented actions.

Speaking of transformation of the sector, we cannot disregard the real and terrible history through which law enforcement has evolved overtime in South Africa, including both its history of largely unlawful violence and its disrespect for the rights and dignity of persons, specifically black people in the broadest definition.

History of policing


Just two months ago on 21 March, we commemorated the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 in which scores of freedom loving South Africans were brutally murdered by apartheid police, simply for protesting against racist and inhumane apartheid pass laws.

Today, and in just 22 more days we will again as a nation commemorate the massacre of the children of Soweto in 1976 who once more were brutally murdered by the apartheid South African police simply for opposing racist impositions on learning.

In their study on Apartheid commissioned by the TRC and published under the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Janine Rauch and David Storey point to consistent sophistication of the security forces to the ends of apartheid and colonial domination.  

While South Africa, like all countries of the world had its share of crime and other illegal acts by individuals or groups, a large part of the development of law enforcement was focused on the suppression of mass dissent against apartheid.

The very people meant to protect us were consistently built into a force committed to the suppression, repression, detention, torture and ultimate murder of those that disagreed with oppression.

The following is a clear summary of the very painful and unfortunate past the majority of South Africans had to endure with lasting scars to many. O’ Mally says and I quote:

In South Africa, the entire command structure of the South African Police (SAP) was white. The police were trained to fight "terrorism," not crime.

The preferred method of obtaining evidence to support charges brought on individuals was the defendant's "unsolicited" confession, usually extracted by threat, intimidation, physical abuse and, if necessary, torture.

Thus, when the ANC became the governing party, the transformation of policing required not only a restructuring at the management level but the development and inculcation of an entirely different ethos of policing and service to the community at every level of law enforcement and basic training for police personnel in reporting, recording, investigating, evidence collection, and preparation of cases for presentation to prosecutors, unquote. 

That is why ladies and gentlemen, we had to change the South African Police to South African Police Service. This was done with an objective to transform the law enforcement to be understood as rendering a service which was not the case before.

We will all remember that we, the law enforcement fraternity was male dominated. And we were committed to ensure transformation through the inclusion and employment of women through gender equity. To an extent that we have had a woman National Commissioner.

The introduction of women in the Law Enforcement space also meant, that we needed protect women in the workplace, as such we introduced a number of policies and legislation as part of the transformation agenda and addressing inequality.

Programme Director;

The Constitution of the RSA, 1996, Section 24(a) compels all employers to provide a safety and most secure environment for all employees who work in the Public and the Private Sectors.

The Labour Relations Act No. 66 of 1995;

Employment Equity Act No. 55 of 1998; and

The Protection from Harassment Act No 17 of 2011 are the main Acts that deal with sexual harassment in the workplace;

These legislations have Codes of Good Practice on the handling of cases of sexual harassment that set out appropriate procedures to deal with allegations of sexual harassment. The Codes encourage and promote the development and implementation of policies and procedures that will lead to the creation of a workplace that is free of sexual harassment, where an employer and employee respect one another’s integrity, dignity, privacy and the right to equity in the workplace. The Policy and Procedures for the management of Sexual Harassment in the Public Service find expression from the above legislations and codes of good practice.  

The Policy on management of Sexual Harrassment have four fundamental objectives which are:

To educate Public Service employees on sexual harassment in the workplace;

To provide guidelines and procedures on the effective management of sexual harassment complaints within the Public Service;

To ensure that all employees and clients of the Public Service are treated with respect and dignity; and

To create an enabling and barrier free workplace that is non- sexist and non-discriminatory.

The forms of Sexual Harassment include physical, verbal, non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature, which includes all unwanted physical contact; inferences, insults, gestures, inappropriate display of sexually explicit pictures and objects; unwelcomed graphic comments about a person’s body made in their presence or directed toward them. And I must say that this Policy is active and very much applicable in the Law Enforcement fraternity.

It is the responsibility of every employer and employee to familiarize themselves with such important prescripts, especially women who are mostly at the receiving end of this despicable patriarchal, systems and institutionalized practice.

We also request the National School of Government to include a education and training courses on Sexual Harassment. We further request the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) find innovative ways of reporting and ensuring that there is compliance in terms dealing the sexual harassment cases.

Education and Skills Development in the Law Enforcement Fraternity (mentorship)

Programme Director,

In efforts to transform the sector beyond, creating enabling policies and legislation and appointing women at all levels including management positions. It became apparent that we also needed to strengthen training and mentorship programmes in order to ensure that we have a pool of trained, qualified capable and capacitated women.

The National School of government was thus established to provide training and mentorship programmes in the Public Service. The School has numerous bilateral agreements with academic institutions that offer a number of courses most aimed to empower women in their different designations.

It is possible to also approach the Principal of the School and present your training needs as a sector, if it’s not provided or covered by the both the NSG and its academic partners.

As the transport sector we have commenced offering law enforcement training through colleges as we are aware gaps in human capital and training needs of the law enforcement sub-sector of the transport sector. To this extent we continue to recruit and train more law enforcement officials.

Traffic Officer NQF Level 6

RTMC Traffic Training Academy is currently training a total of 828 Traffic Trainees of which 169 (20%) are women

There are currently 619 Traffic Trainees enrolled in the 13 traffic colleges across the country on this qualification of which 233 (38%) are women.

The shareholders Committee has approved the National Road Traffic Law Enforcement Code, which proposes the introduction of training such in the following areas:

Functional Supervision

Middle management

Senior management

A conscious effort is continuously being made to ensure the exposure of women to such training so that they can compete equally with their male counterparts.

However, these, action we are taking will not work if those women in senior positions kick the ladder when they have “arrived” as many would say. Mentorship will always remain an important tool in advancing young women recruits.

Women Bursary Holders in Law Enforcement

The Corporation awarded a total of 21 Women in Law enforcement bursaries between 2018 – 2021. Four women have completed their qualifications and 17 are still studying.

Some of the qualifications include Police Science and Practice, Law, Metropolitan and Traffic Policing among some.

The RTMC has shown great improvement in the empowerment of women for occupational levels with 7 women in as qualified professionals in the form of 2 Senior Superintendents out of 5 Superintendents. 


As regards the intake of interns at the RTMC, it can be learned that the Corporation has recruited 72 interns for the financial year 64% of which are females and 36% male. Our skills development unit, which meets skills development and trainings practitioners across the three spheres of government meet quarterly to deliberate on placements, skills and equity matters regarding he sector.  

We are also aware that the world has changed immensely all around us and part of that change is brought about by digital technologies.

We believe it is within in our reach to ensure greater technological and digital proficiencies among officials in law enforcement.

These advances we are making ladies and gentlemen are based on our commitment to realise the aspirations set out in Sustainable Goals, the National Development Plan. 

While we do not have formal law-enforcement assigned to the rail or aviation environments we continue to find ways of strengthening both the safety and the security of persons and cargo interacting with the transport environment, while we continue to find strength and support from the South African Police Service.

We have recently employed 3,100 security personnel at PRASA and this will be augmented by the already deployed rail police drawn from the SAPS.

Because the Department of Transport has a commitment to contribute to building safer communities as well as promoting social and economic transformation of the transport sector our SOEs pursue a very clear perspective on gender, youth and disability mainstreaming, and therefore with a strong commitment to equity, the empowerment of women and persons with disabilities.

Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF)

Programme Director;

As Government, we are committed to ending Gender-based Violence and Femicide (GBVF). The President announced a five point emergency plan to tackle  GBVF, these include;  strengthening the Criminal Justice system; enhancing the legal and policy frameworks; ensure adequate care, support and healing for victims of violence; improve the economic power of women and have a mass media campaign that will target communities, and public spaces, work-places, campuses, schools and recreational spaces.

As the Department of Transport, we have adopted the National Strategic Plan on Gender-based Violence and Femicide and among others to the ends ensuring its objectives in the transport sector. We have ensured that the department and all our Public Entities have gender responsive budgets.

We have established the Transport Sector Transformation Forum, the forum meets on a quarterly basis to share best practice on the mainstreaming of Gender, disability, youth and children’s issues. The forum comprises of representatives from DoT Branches, Entities and Provinces and municipalities through SALGA.


Ladies and gentlemen;

As women, let us educate and train ourselves to know and demand what is rightfully ours. Let us become more educated, as the doors of learning open. It is time commit to supporting each other as women, and not kick the ladder when we are in positions of management and leadership by supporting mentorship and coaching programmes which will ensure succession planning for women in the Public and private sectors.

This an annual formal organization of women to discuss issues pertaining to their own socio-economic development as far their career-pathing is concerned is a very critical and strategic instrument to the transformation agenda of the safety and security cluster. The existing legacy of inequality will only be dismantled through a conceited collective effort of determined women, who are not apologetic for demanding what the Bill of Rights dictates to be human rights to be discharged fairly to all citizens.

Let us remember that as much as we have all kinds of legislations, we cannot have a law on ethics and morality. We are all called upon to be ethical. Because violations against women and children is a travesty to justice. Silence in acting against Gender-Based Violence is silence to the rights of girl children yet to be born, it is silence to inclusive sustainable development and the emancipation of women but most of all it is a deliberate action of silencing a nation’s soul.  

In closing, I say, let us use our voices to build, empower and encourage one another; and remain resolute in transforming our sector and setting leadership standards that will impact Women Law Enforcers of the future.

It is said that God found some of the strongest women and made them Law enforcement Officers.

I thank you.   


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