President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his fifth State of the Nation address in strict adherence to the National State of Disaster regulations. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/POOL
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his fifth State of the Nation address in strict adherence to the National State of Disaster regulations. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/POOL

SONA 2021: Ramaphosa commits to reducing backlog of gender-based violence cases

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Feb 11, 2021

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Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday night said it was important for law enforcement agencies to reduce the backlog of gender-based violence cases in the country.

In delivering the annual crimes stats last year, Police Minister Bheki Cele revealed that over 42 000 people had been raped during the 2019/20 financial year, while there were over 53 000 sexual offences crimes registered with the police in the same year.

The sexual offences crimes included cases of rape, sexual assault, attempted sexual offences and contact sexual offences

Delivering the State of the Nation Address for 2021, Ramaphosa said government was committed to ending gender-based violence.

He said it was important for society to commit to a society rooted in equality and non-sexism.

Reflecting on his commitment to women and children last year, Ramaphosa said he had promised that the government would strengthen the criminal justice system to prevent them being traumatised again, and that they would ensure perpetrators face justice.

“To give effect to this, three key pieces of legislation were introduced in Parliament last year to make the criminal justice system more effective in combating gender-based violence.

“To ensure that perpetrators are brought to book, we are making progress in reducing the backlog of gender-based violence cases,” said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa said the State would continue to provide care and support to gender-based violence survivors and in doing so, it would also prioritise the economic empowerment of women.

“Last year, the Cabinet approved a policy that 40% of public procurement should go to women-owned businesses.

“Several departments have started implementing this policy and are making progress.

“Last week we also launched a groundbreaking private sector-led GBVF Response Fund,” he said.

Ramaphosa said a number of local companies along with global philanthropic efforts had pledged R128 million to the cause.

“That was unprecedented. Over the next three years, the government will allocate approximately R12 billion to implement the various components of the National Strategic Plan.

“Gender-based violence will only end when everyone takes responsibility for doing so in their homes, in their communities, in their workplaces, in their places of worship and in their schools,” he said.

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