Minister calls for communities to unite against gender-based violence
Durban - AMENDING legislation and launching a new programme are just two examples of the many ways that the government is trying to end the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said GBVF is not something that can be dealt with by other people.
“It is something that we all as a nation need to get up and do something about it,” Zulu said.
She was speaking at the end of the ACT Now walk which started in Gauteng and ended in Durban on Tuesday.
“The department will be launching Asikhulume (let’s talk). We’re hoping it will be conversations that are not going to be at the level of ministers or at the level of MECs. Those are going to be discussions at a local level,” said Zulu.
She said they needed to deal with GBV house to house, street to street and community to community.
She also said the government approved the National Strategy Plan which aimed to intensify the effort in the fight against GBV.
“As a department we are leading on Pillar Four of the Strategy: Response, Care, Support and Healing. The pillar seeks to ensure that every survivor of GBV has access to appropriate and sensitive response, care and support that facilitates immediate containment, medium to long term healing. It recognises that effective response, care and support is integral to healing and comprehensively working towards eradicating GBV in South Africa,” said Zulu.
She said they were reforming legislation by amending various pieces of legislation that would ensure that our laws were tightened to curb GBVF.
ACT Now chairperson Tebogo Lerole said they were sending a strong message to other men to say “we are tired, enough is enough, we need to stop, we’ve done far more damage”.
“We wanted to walk every step and dedicate it to every family that has lost a soul, that has lost a loved one, that has lost a family member - an aunt, a mom, a granny, a child, an infant,” said Lerole.
“Our message has been: we need to prevent, we need to stick together, we need to fight as communities, we need to be the glue that binds and protects women and children in this country.”
Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said now was the time to further strengthen our fight as different sectors to end the scourge of GBV.
“No one and no government can do it alone but together, joining hands, we can do it,” said Khoza.
“As women we have held some marches, as women we have held some marches but today (Tuesday) it is wonderful to have men who say enough is enough and not in our name.”
Governance & Human Resources Committee chairperson Nompumelelo Sithole said the eThekwini Municipality continuously engaged various community forums, mostly constituted by men, to reverse the scourge of violence.
Government has established the Gender Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) under the DSD to offer immediate response and psychosocial support services to a victim.
Zulu called upon all South Africans to utilise the GBVCC that operates 24hr/7days Call Centre.
These services are manned by qualified social workers who are responsible for call taking and call referral.
The centre has an emergency line number- 0800 428 428, supported by a “please call me” facility: *120*7867#, a Skype line to assist the deaf community (add ‘Helpme GBV’ to your Skype contacts) and an SMS based line (SMS ‘Help’ to 31531).