Thousands of South African women gathered at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton to make their voices heard in protest against gender-based violence. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - South African Communist Party (SACP) General Secretary Blade Nzimande on Monday said the high levels of unemployed South African men is a contributor to gender-based violence as most men who can’t provide for their families vent their anger on women and children, although this was not a justification for violence against women.

Nzimande was addressing delegates of the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union in Durban where the union has been holding its 14th National Congress which is set to finish on Wednesday with a new leadership of the union elected.

“Unless we understand the source of this thing, we are not going to be able to deal with it. I’m not suggesting that violence against women is only found in working class and poor communities, I’m not saying that at all. It tends to be worse there, but it’s found across the board. Even rich women suffer the brunt of abuse,” said Nzimande.

Nzimande also condemned acts of violence and criminality that have occurred in Gauteng in recent weeks saying that this was regardless of the nationalities of those involved and affected. 

“The SACP is calling upon all our people in South Africa, South African citizens and foreign nationals alike, to refrain from taking the law into their own hands whatever grievances the communities might have.

“It’s also clear to us as the SACP that the struggle against violence in general, and gender based violence in particular, will not be successfully tackled unless we also deal with the scourge of substance and alcohol abuse in many communities,” said Nzimande.

He said that what often appeared as xenophobia is sometimes a struggle against drug peddling, adding that it was important to honour Jabu Baloyi, the taxi driver from Pretoria who was shot dead attempting to prevent the sale of drugs to youngsters and school children.

“Our education and other institutions, as part of broader society, are also becoming sites of different types of violence and criminality. These include gender based violence and drug dealing. 

“We welcome the stance taken by our president comrade Ramaphosa for law enforcement to be tightened, including tougher sentences for gender based violence. However, government alone will not be able to successfully defeat these many social scourges inflicting our communities and society,” Nzimande said. 

Political Bureau