Johannesburg - BMW on Thursday donated five BMW i3 vehicles to community-based organisations who are at the frontlines in the fight against gender-based violence.
The vehicles were warmly received by President Cyril Ramaphosa and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on an official visit to South Africa.
The president said the cars would be used to strengthen efforts in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide. They are also intended to assist with victim support initiatives.
In recent years, the deaths of the likes of Karabo Mokoena, Siam Lee, Uyinene Mrwetyana, Leighandre Jegels, Meghan Cremer, Jesse Hess and many other women, have cast the spotlight on the violence afflicted on vulnerable women in the country.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, said government had launched 365 days campaign to highlight the issue of gender-based violence and femicide.
The president said government was implementing emergency response plans to fight gender-based violence, and he also the empowerment of women was among government’s priorities.
In receiving and handing over the BMW i3’s, Ramaphosa said: “Today we are here to receive this invaluable donation in the fight against gender-based violence. Since last year we have been implementing an emergency response plan to gender-based violence and we have registered demonstrable progress in a number of areas.
“And in doing all this, we are really truly blessed because we have had great support from the women of our country who have organised themselves to take up the fight against gender-based violence.
“We thank you and we applaud you for being brave, for being vocal and for standing up for the rights of women. I am able to say here today, that we are in this fight together with you and we will continue fighting alongside you,” he said.
The vehicles were handed over during a ceremony at the BMW plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria.
CR's BMW ROAST
But social media lynched the president, suggesting the donation of cars was not adequate in leading the fight against gender-based violence. This is what some on Twitter had to say to the president.
Hold up. How are the 5 BMWs going to curb Femicide and GBV? I'm lost.— Nefertari, The Great (@Thabethe_Lungi) February 7, 2020
Who knew that to end Gender-Based Violence in South Africa, all we needed was to receive a donation of 5 BMWs, all the way from Germany. We feel safer already. https://t.co/MdnZbzom8l— ❤ (@miss_anathea) February 7, 2020
Maybe those "5 BMWs" are transformers cz it doesn't make sense how will they fight women abuse🤷♂️🤷♂️🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/m2mZp2b3LK— Lehlohonolo Masweu (@Lehloho92726712) February 7, 2020
A woman is murdered every three hours in South Africa. The rape stats are even scarier. But don’t worry ladies, Cyril got 5 BMWs. We’re safe.— IG: saneymsweli (@miss_safra) February 7, 2020
Wow!! So women's lives are worth 5 BMWs ayivalwe le cowntry! pic.twitter.com/ywCRkVdycP— Live it Up or Give it Up (@Mr_Khamboole) February 7, 2020
Did someone desperately need to fill this slot in the programme because this is strange- at best.— Siviwe Gwarube (@Siviwe_G) February 7, 2020
5 BMWs have been allocated to the fight against GBV. Have they been selected bc they are aesthetically pleasing/fast? Will they act as a deterrent to those who rape and kill women? https://t.co/ulEwtKdAwg