Harcourts have had enough of gender-based violence
The Eastern Cape Harcourts property group took to the streets of Port Elizabeth to show their support and take a stand against women abuse on Friday.
The march, in aid of Port Elizabeth's Yokhuselo Haven for abused women, formed part of a national initiative by the group. Similar marches were held in Cape Town, Pretoria and Alberton on Friday morning, with another set to take place on Saturday morning in Roodepoort.
A group of more than 100 men and women walked a mile up Cape Road from the PE Golf Club in Mill Park and back, in high heels. Among them were Harcourts regional office representatives from Port Alfred, partners of the group and representatives from Yokhuselo Haven.
Harcourts property consultant Glyn Bradfield said: “The idea behind having men join in wearing heels is a [metaphorical emphasis] on how it feels to be in women's position [shoes].”
The group handed over a donation of more than R25,000 raised through entry fees for the march to Yokhuselo Haven.
Each entrant donated R250, Bradfield said.
“Our relationship with Yokhuselo Haven is fairly new and we chose to donate to this charity because its values are in line with our stand against women abuse in particular,” Bradfield said.
Friday's event marked the first of more marches of this nature by Harcourts to take place in Port Elizabeth, he said.
“This initiative was started a few years ago by Harcourts International in Australia and it has spread to various parts of the world, but this is the first time it's being done in SA,” Bradfield said.
Yokhuselo Haven board chair Miranda Paulsen said the donation would provide much-needed financial assistance for training and cooking classes for the women at the home.
“We are absolutely overwhelmed by the gesture, particularly because Yokhuselo gets no subsidy from the state – all the money we get is through fundraising and donations.
“Our plan with this donation is to offer more training for our women. We have stained glass and sewing and we are now going to offer cooking classes because, in most instances, we find the women who come to us are not equipped with skills to cook a healthy or economical meal,” she said.
Paulsen said the women would also be trained to bake biscuits and sell them to raise funds.