2005• Woman of Achievement

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After the completion of her schooling in 1963, Ms. Solomon worked in the private sector for 10 years, of which 8 years as Personnel Manager at Boots, the British Pharmaceutical Firm.

In 1975 Ms. Solomon joined the Black Women’s Organization and became actively involved in the Civic Movement. In 1976 she was raded by the police because of her involved in the Women’s Organization.

Between 1976 and 1979 she worked as office secretary of the Western Cape region of the Black Sash. She helped set up a number of Civic Organizations, which eventually merged into one umbrella civic organization, Cape Areas Housing Action Committee (CAHAC). CAHAC became the initiating organization of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the Western Cape.

In 1980, Ms. Solomon organized one of the first marches against rent increases in Woodlands. From 1980 to 1983 she was actively involved in a number of campaigns such as the Consumer Boycott (to protest discrimination against workers), the Bus Boycott (to protest against bus fares increases), and was also involved in a massive campaign to have electricity charges reduced.

She was involved in the formation of the UDF and served on the General Council of the western Cape of the UDF and also as secretary of the Mitchell’s Plain Region of the UDF. In 1988 she was elected as Treasurer of the UDF Western Cape region, a capacity she served in until March 1990.

From 1983 to 1985 Ms Solomon gave up full-time employment to give more attention to the civic work and helped set up a number of crèches in the Mitchell’s Plain area. She was chairperson of the Woodlands Resident Association and also secretary of the Mitchell’s Plain Co-ordinating Committee of Civics.

In 1985 she rejoined the Western Province Council of Churches as Assistant Organizing Secretary. She was appointed as consultant to the Bishops Convention and set up to plan and implement programmes of action for the church, such as the Standing For The Truth Campaign, which was part of a general protest against the General Elections for the Racist Government and it’s tri-cameral parliament.

She co-ordinated the “Sanctuary” Programmes, giving moral/financial assistance to activist being sought after by the Security Police as well as the exile family programme, workshopping/aiding families of exiles.

In 1989 Ms. Solomon was recalled to work full-time in the area of residence and to prepare for the setting up of the Woodlands Peoples Centre, which was financed by the Norwegian Council of Churches. She was appointed full-time co-ordinator of this project which includes a crèche, library, resource centre, advice office, education office and computer training center and also provinces several extra mural activities such as gymnastics, Alcoholics Anonymous, etc.

She was elected as chairperson of Woodlands ANC and nominated as candidate for the elections. During the course of her involvement in all these activities, which was seen by the State as subversive, she was detained several times as well and charged for various political offences.

From 1995 to 1996 she was Deputy Mayor of the City of Cape Town and from 1996 to 1998, she was the Mayor of the City of Cape Town. In addition to this, she spent one year in the Provincial Legislature as the spokesperson on crime for the ANC. In 2000 she was appointed as High Commissioner to Tanzania where she completed her tenure with an intermission transfer to Canada. Currently she is the South African High Commissioner to Canada.