All South Africans must work together every day to protect our women and children and stamp out Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF)
Today, Monday 29 November 2021, I visited the Inanda Police Station in KwaZulu Natal together with KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi to view the recently installed anti-Gender Based Violence & Femicide (GBVF) billboards installed by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI).
During the joint sitting in the National Assembly on the 18 September 2019, I made a commitment that the DPWI would allocate unoccupied state-owned properties for service delivery purpose, especially to provide shelter to victims of Gender-Based Violence.
So far, DPWI has made available 12 properties for shelters for GBV victims, 6 of these shelters are in Gauteng and 6 are in the Western Cape.
In addition, in September 2019, I also committed that 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 a billboard installed on Kgosi Mampuru Road in Tshwane and a mural at Manenberg Police Station in Cape Town. DPWI is expanding this GBVF advocacy communication campaign to all provinces.
Anti-GBVF billboards were also installed at three police stations in Pretoria namely; the Mamelodi East, Mamelodi West and Eersterust Police Stations by the DPWI earlier this year.
As part of expanding the programme, the DPWI recently installed three more billboards at the Plessislaer, Inanda and Empangeni Police Stations in KZN.
The placement of these billboards is part of government’s communication efforts to reaffirm our stance against the killing and hurting of our women and children. Each day women and children are being abused and killed by the very people who are supposed to protect them.
We must stand together as families and communities to speak out against abuse and report abusers to the authorities so that they can face the full might of the law and not get away with the harm they bring to our women and children.
We have lost far too many sisters, mothers and children to the scourge of GBVF and it must come to an end.
Families and communities must not protect those who perpetrate these heinous crimes against our own women and children. Women and children must be loved and protected at all times and we must speak out and protect our women and children every day of the year.
I also want to appeal to women to not protect their abuser and be scared of speaking out or walking away. Women must know that there is support out there and they must leave abusive relationships. Often women are scared to leave and the most devastating consequence is being killed at the hands of the abuser.
We have placed these billboards in communities most afflicted by crime and the billboards also publicise the number of the national GBVF command centre where victims can call to get help. Help is available. Speak out and act against abuse for the sake of savings lives.
Most importantly, I am pleading with men to stop hurting our women and children and do more to protect our women and children against abuse and be the protectors they need. As communities we need to stand together and not see another mother or sister or child lose their lives at the hands of abusers.
Let us stop abusers and stop protecting them once and for all and protect our women and children.
For assistance and counselling on GBVF matters, call the GBV Command Centre on 0800 428 428. Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone. Report to a local police station or call the toll-free Crime Stop number on 086 00 10111.
Source: Government of South Africa