Premier’s wife dressed by local designer for Sopa

From left are Deputy Speaker, of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, Beverley Schäfer, member of provincial parliament Ricardo Mackenzie, dressmaker Suraya Williams, Tracy Winde and Premier Alan Winde and Speaker of Western Cape Provincial Parliament Masizole Mnqasela.

Western Cape Parliament Deputy Speaker Beverley Schäfer and Tracy Winde, wife of Premier Alan Winde, wore dresses designed by a Westgate fashion designer to the State of the Province Address (SOPA) in Rocklands, last week.

Ms Winde said it had been decided about a week before the event that entrepreneur and seamstress Suraya Williams, 43, from Westgate, would make her dress.

It took two meetings – one to decide on the fabric, style and size and the next to collect the garment on Wednesday February 19.

Mr Winde told his wife about his visit to Design 26 Foundation, where Ms Williams, its director, teaches sewing to young woman.

“As a keen seamstress myself, I thought this is the lady who needs to make my dress for SOPA. We wanted to support local businesses,” Ms Winde said.

Ms Winde described Ms Williams as “the real deal” when it came to giving back to her community and that if people supported her they would be enabling young people to earn a skill and become entrepreneurs.

She said Ms Williams was professional, highly skilled and knew exactly what she was doing.

“Everybody needs to buy clothes so we need people to make those clothes.

“We’re putting Mitchell’s Plain on the map. It’s an awesome community let’s support it.”

Ms Williams also makes bespoke outfits and works from a room in her home.

She said she felt “extremely honoured and privileged” for the opportunity.

“Never have we, living in Mitchell’s Plain had an opportunity like this before,” she said. “This will open more doors for people like me.” This is the second time Ms Williams has attended the SOPA.