Cape Town - The Gugulethu Development Forum, in partnership with local stakeholders, embarked on a holistic community upliftment campaign on Thursday to fight the scourge of human trafficking and gender-based violence (GBV).
The campaign started with the clean-up of hot spots, where trees were planted, followed by a GBV and human trafficking dialogue, with the purpose of alerting the community on how to prevent these.
Gugulethu Development Forum chairperson Vincent Domingo said the campaign was a follow up to last year’s march on gender-based violence.
“The aim is to come up with a programme of action, as we had a massive march last year and because of Covid-19, decided to tone it down. We are now concentrating on awareness and prevention, with understanding what is the root cause of these.
“Gender-based violence is a huge issue in Gugulethu - with cases not investigated properly, no support services for victims with no clear outcome for cases,” he said.
Gugulethu Health Forum chairperson Nowhi Mndayi said victims did not want to come forward because of the lack of services and support.
“What we want to register with these campaigns is that, as members of the community, we need to take a more active role when it comes to things that affect us and not wait for the government,” she said.
“It is our vision, as the development forum, to ensure that the community receives the best possible services, including following up on cases, and identifying and referring them to appropriate service providers.”
UnBound Cape Town director Clayton Gouws said, unfortunately, human trafficking was something most people were unaware of but was hugely affecting the world.
“It’s one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world and the top three most lucrative in the world. The statistics speak for themselves, so we want to be part of what is happening in our communities because we want to continue to create more awareness and help people gain the tools on how to respond when they see it happening.
“The worldwide statistics are that only 1% of the people that get caught up in trafficking will ever be free and so we want to break that.”
Gouws said South Africa had a high employment rate and poverty which created a space for people to be vulnerable.