'Her legacy of caring must live on': Paul Mashatile at memorial for Hlengiwe Mkhize

23 September 2021 - 16:41
The late Hlengiwe Mkhize championed issues of the poor. File photo.
The late Hlengiwe Mkhize championed issues of the poor. File photo.
Image: Alan Eason

A befitting honour the ANC can confer on the late Hlengiwe Mkhize is to ensure that the most vulnerable in society are taken care of.

This, according to the ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, can be done by continuing with the income-assistance measures including the social relief of distress grant put in place since the advent of Covid-19.

Mashatile was delivering a tribute at the memorial service of the late deputy minister in the presidency for women, youth and persons with disabilities. 

Mashatile said Mkhize had championed issues of the poor and made it her mission that no-one be left behind. This, he said, the ANC should continue in her honour.

“In the current climate of weak economic growth, increased joblessness, poverty and inequality, the ANC of comrade Hlengiwe must respond to the significant demands on government to continue with and expand income-support measures for those living in poverty,” Mashatile said in Johannesburg.

“Subject to long-term affordability, serious consideration should be given to extending further support to the unemployed, and those who are structurally marginalised from the economy.”

This support, Mashatile said, should be mostly focused on enabling young people to transition into “gainful employment”.

“Comrades, we must do all of these things as part of ensuring that the sacrifices made by comrade Hlengiwe and many like her were not in vain,” he said.

“We must also do all of these things, assured in the knowledge that even though the sun that warmed and brightened our lives has set, even though comrade Hlengiwe is no longer with us, her legacy of caring for the marginalised must outlive her, and prevent us from shivering in the cold and dark.”

Mkhize's name deserved a special mention in the history of SA, said Mashatile.

“Comrade Hlengiwe is no more, but we are confident that her caring spirit will live among us forever. Though death has robbed us of her immense capabilities, we have no doubt that her life will be emulated by many.

“By force of example, she has shown us the way.”

Mkhize, 69, died last week on Thursday. She had been diagnosed with cancer.

She is expected to be buried during an official category 2 funeral on Saturday.