President Jacob Zuma

Minister of Home Affairs, Naledi Pandor

Director-General Mkuseli Apleni and senior officials

CEO of Government Printing Works, Dr. Anthony Mbewu

Families of the late Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa

It is our privilege to be here today on behalf of the families of the late Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and on my own behalf. This is indeed a proud moment not only for the four families present here but the women of our country in general irrespective of race, colour, sex or religion.

Mr. President we, accordingly, wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to you, the government and people of South  Africa for honouring the women of our country by naming the four Smart ID card machines after our late comrades and leaders of the women’s march to Union Buildings in 1956.

We are particularly grateful that this honour is bestowed upon us on the eve of the 57th anniversary of the 1956 march to Union Buildings, which we will all celebrate on the 9th August. The naming of the smart ID card printing machines is indeed an honour to all those women from the urban and rural areas, cities and towns who pledged to work tirelessly to bring about an end to the hated pass laws and all laws that restricted our movement.

The naming ceremony gives practical meaning to our commitment contained in the petition we handed to the authorities at the Union Buildings and in which we stated that  “we shall not rest until all the pass laws and restrictions placed upon us are abolished”

Critical to note is that the pass laws denied the majority of people in general and Africans in particular our common South African citizenship, stripped them of their identity and dignity. As we often stated, we turned into temporary sojourners in our land of birth.

Thanks to the struggles by women across the country  and as part of the overall national struggle for the emancipation of all our people, we are today beneficiaries of democracy, peace and freedom. As part of this democratization process, our democratic government has since 1994 began on a journey of restoring our dignity.

The introduction of the Smart ID card by our government, which you lead Mr. President represents a milestone in efforts aimed at the consolidation of the restoration of identity, citizenship and dignity for all South Africans as part of  the overall efforts towards the creation of a non-racial, non- sexist and democratic South Africa

In this regard,  Mr. President and Minister Pandor,  I can say without fear of contradiction, that the late Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa will today be proud of the naming of these machines after them, as a recognition of the just struggle they had waged throughout their lives.

On behalf of the families of Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and myself, we accept this honour with all humility at our disposal and commit ourselves to continue to work with our democratic government, in addressing all challenges that continue to face women in particular and the majority of our people in general, including poverty, under-development and infectious diseases.

Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi!

Thank you

30 July 2013