President Cyril Ramaphosa says government is working towards ensuring that there is a model, gender-based violence one-stop centre in all areas that have been identified as hotspots.
The President said this when he responded to oral questions from Members of Parliament in the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday afternoon.
“We are focused on efforts to ensure that there is a model GBV one-stop centre in each of the identified 30 hotspot areas. These centres provide multidisciplinary services such psychological and health support.
“They also provide investigation and prosecution but more than that, they also are becoming places of assistance at an economic level for women and help with housing problems as well,” he said.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has allocated several properties around the country for use as shelters of safety for victims of gender-based violence.
There are four in Tshwane, six in the Western Cape and two in Johannesburg.
Additional properties are being assessed in other areas, the President said.
“We are therefore working to expand the Khuseleka one-stop centres in the first phase in Cape Town, Sol Plaatjie Municipality, eThekwini, Mangaung, Ehlanzeni, Tshwane and Johannesburg.
“In the second phase, we will identify buildings in the Eastern Cape, North West and Limpopo to enhance the existing Khuseleka shelters.”
The Khuseleka One-Stop Centres, which will be open 24 hours a day, provide services such as trauma counselling and psychological support, healthcare, police services, legal assistance and shelter for victims of abuse.
The name ”Khuseleka” is derived from the Zulu word which means protection.
The President said as the safe shelters are being expanded, government has developed the Victim Support Services Bill to enhance legislation to focus on victims of crime and violence.
The draft Bill has gone out for public comment and the Department of Social Development is consolidating the inputs received from the public.
“The Bill is victims-centred and touches on the importance of state-owned properties and the accreditation of providers of sheltering services. This in many ways will ensure that service providers are qualified to provide professional services to survivors,” he said.
“As part of our response to the Coronavirus pandemic, each Minister and Deputy Minister has been allocated to a district to champion the implementation of the COVID-19 prevention and management strategies and to support programmes to end gender-based violence.
“As part of this, each municipality is called on to develop and support community capacity to deliver gender-based violence prevention interventions.
“This should be implemented through training community level activists as well as volunteers and GBV services organisations to roll-out prevention programmes.”