New GBV laws set to be crafted, says Mabuza
Cape Town - Deputy President David Mabuza has called for tough action against gender-based violence, saying the time for talking was over and that it was now time to act.
Mabuza told MPs in a virtual sitting of Parliament on Thursday that there has been an increase in gender-based violence during the Covid-19 lockdown.
He said the government has put in place structures to fight the abuse and killing of women and children.
“For us, the time for talking on issues of gender-based violence is over, time is of the essence. We need to act and act now,” said Mabuza.
He said the government was amending laws on sentences and other punishments against those who abuse and kill women.
“I don’t see a society to be called a society that kills its children and women. As a society, we must correct this aspect. We have a duty (for) all of us to stand up,” said Mabuza.
He added that as leader of government business, he will be bringing new laws to Parliament to deal with gender-based violence.
“We should accept that the president gave an instruction to all of us that we should prioritise the issue of gender-based violence. As the leader of government business, I must co- ordinate that and bring those bills to Parliament,” he said.
“In a short space of time, we will bring those laws on how best we curb gender-based violence,” he said.
Police Minister Bheki Cele is expected to present annual crime statistics in September.
In the last statistics, it showed the violence against women and children remained high.
Mabuza also called on national and provincial departments and municipalities to settle the rising debt with Eskom. The power utility is owed R28bn by these entities, which is an increase of R8.2bn from last year.
He pointed out that Eskom needed this money to keep its operations going. He said the government would crack the whip on provincial and national departments to settle their debts with Eskom.
Mabuza, however, rejected a suggestion by the EFF that National Treasury must direct funds owed by municipalities to Eskom first when it allocates budgets to municipalities.
Mabuza said this would be unconstitutional, as municipalities were entitled to their equitable share and grants from the Treasury.