In an effort to respond to Gender Based Violence (GBV), the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has so far made 12 properties available for shelters for GBV victims.
In a statement on Sunday, Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille said six of these shelters are in Gauteng and six are in the Western Cape.
“The department is currently working with officials in the Department of Social Development to identify and allocate more properties for shelters in all provinces. As we commemorate Women’s Month, we must be mindful of the great amount of work still ahead of us to truly realise freedom and equality for women,” the Minister said.
In February this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Response Fund1, which is being led by the private sector with R128 million pledged by companies and organised business to fight this scourge.
The GBVF Response Fund1 is part of a national response to gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa.
The GBVF Response Fund was established to allocate financial support to various programmes under the National Strategic Plan to address GBVF such as prevention and rebuilding social cohesion, justice, and protection and safety measures.
During the joint sitting in the National Assembly on the 18 September 2019, the Minister made a commitment that the DPWI would use state-owned properties to install anti-GBVF messaging as a campaign to show government’s solidarity with communities and families who have been affected by this scourge and to demonstrate government efforts in the fight against GBVF.
The anti-GBVF messaging campaign has already started with the first billboard which was placed along Kgosi Mampuru Road in Tshwane and a mural at Manenberg Police Station in Cape Town.
DPWI is working to expand this GBVF advocacy communication campaign to all provinces.
The billboards also publicises the number of the GBV command centre where communities and victims of GBV can get help to ensure that we save more lives and put an end to this scourge.
“My appeal to families and community members is to also work with us and help victims by supporting them and helping them to report abuse as this can save a victim’s life.
“Too often people are afraid to speak out for fear of tarnishing the family’s name but the lives of our women and children is worth more and we must do all we can to protect them and bring those who hurt women to book. We must break the silence and stop protecting perpetrators.
“There must be a firm hand in how we deal with these cases so that we stamp out GBVF and show women that as a whole society, we stand with them and we are all here to protect them,” the Minister said.
CEO of the GBVF Response Fund1, Lindi Dlamini, said the constitutional ideals of a democratic and free South Africa cannot be said to have been achieved if women and children are not living free of fear.
“We cannot be the generation that won freedom, standing on the shoulders of our forebears, and did not use that as a springboard to create an even better future for the next generation.
“Propelled by that goal, the GBVF Response Fund1 will work tirelessly to support the implementation of initiatives and programmes aimed at the effective elimination of GBVF which is such a stain on our young democracy,” Dlamini said.
The GBVF Response Fund 1 has committed to work towards a civilised and liberated South Africa, guided by the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for GBVF.
“The purpose of the NSP is to provide a multi-sectoral, coherent strategic policy and programming framework to strengthen a coordinated national response to the crisis of GBVF by the government of South Africa and the country as a whole.
“It is that purpose that guides the Fund to reach across sectors for their financial and non-financial contribution to fight against the GBVF scourge. We thank Minister Patricia de Lille for honouring her commitment. We commit to work with her, other sectors of government, business and civil society, to find solutions that will help in the eradication of GBVF and restoration of human dignity for all,” Dlamini said.