Youth urged to end the scourge of GBV in their communities
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DURBAN - ETHEKWINI Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda acknowledged that the youth continued to face challenges and urged them to address gender-based violence (GBV). Kaunda was speaking during the eThekwini Municipality’s recent two-day Youth Summit in Umnini.
While addressing the young men, Kaunda said the municipality was determined to instil hope where there was a sense of hopelessness and despair because he understood the privilege given to them to lead.
He appealed to the youth, reminding them that conflict should be tackled through constructive engagement without resorting to violence.
“This pent-up anger that men are unable to resolve is taken out on defenceless women and children. Hence, there is an increase in GBV which has reached epidemic proportions. It is said that women in South Africa are five times more likely to be killed due to GBV committed by men.”
He added that 41% of the people being raped were children saying the statistics were “horrifying” and therefore boys should ask themselves what has gone wrong in society.
“Your voices, as future parents, are crucial if we want to win the fight against violence and abuse. As fathers, we need to ask ourselves if we are fulfilling our role of instilling the values of human dignity, equality and respect in young men and boys. Are we still mentoring our boys and guiding them in their journey to adulthood so they value and respect women and children?”
He also said there was a huge generational gap between boys and their fathers, and while some were raised by single mothers, others had fathers who worked far away from home and hardly found time to mentor their children.
Emphasising the responsibility to raise responsible men in society, Kaunda said it was not only the responsibility of biological parents.
“There is a saying that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Therefore, close relatives must also lend a hand in building young boys to become responsible adults in our families.
“As the eThekwini Municipality, we have established the Men’s Sector which is a platform for men to discuss issues affecting them daily. We are planning to extend this forum to young boys so that they can get a platform where they ventilate their challenges. You must also know that violence does not solve problems, instead, it inflicts pain, fear and anger.”
Highlighting the city’s intervention in empowering young people, he said: “We continue to advocate for the implementation of the social procurement policy which will see 30% of our Procurement Spend benefiting Co-operatives and Social Enterprises.”
Kaunda emphasised that the city continued to attract young people through various skills development programmes where graduates completed in-service training, apprenticeships and learnerships.
“Our collective task now is to make sure we become job creators instead of job seekers. Having established the Mayoral Jobs Creation and Skills Revolution War Room, the city has allocated R53million for the re-skilling of 1 000 students. We will also continue to provide bursaries and registration fees to students at tertiary institutions to the tune of R30m.”
“We have set aside R27 million for a range of skills development programmes in the Maritime sector, hoping to take advantage of our geographical position as a port city. Therefore, in total, the municipality has allocated R107 million for youth skills development programmes in the next financial year.”