Office of the Premier 2022/11/27 - 22:00
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has urged every South African to actively participate in the protection of women and children in their communities.
Speaking at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence Against Women and Children Abuse, Lesufi said that gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) had become a way of life that needs concerted efforts from all sectors of society to address.
"The Gauteng Provincial Government, through the National Strategic Plan on GBVF, is declaring war against gender-based violence and femicide. We are prepared to leave no stones unturned in ensuring the perpetrators of such violence account for their actions," Lesufi told the event held at the Jabulani Amphitheatre in Soweto on Friday.
This year's theme for the annual commemoration is "Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment to build Women's Resilience against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide: Connect, Collaborate, Contract!"
Lesufi said he was disturbed by the crime statistics released by the Police Minister, Bheki Cele, that revealed that in the last three months, 1000 women were killed, 18 000 women were victims of assault, while 1 277 women were victims of attempted murder.
At this rate, Lesufi said the country is a warzone. To successfully eradicate the scourge, women need to be economically empowered to provide for themselves through laws like the Township Economic Development Act (TEDA), he added.
"As part of our commitment to empowering township businesses, we are immediately making available an amount of R650 million so that our people can start businesses in the township. We are doing this to urgently respond to victims and survivors of gender-based violence in the province."
Gauteng has significantly increased the budget directed towards women empowerment initiatives from R46.2 billion in the 2021/22 financial year to R48.1 billion in the 2022/23 financial year.
This is a 4% increase year on year. Equally important is that a rise in spending has accompanied the increase in the budget on related items, demonstrating the provincial government's push towards Gender Responsive Budgeting.
Gauteng's drive to mainstream gender issues in budgeting processes is in line with the Gender Responsive Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, passed by National Cabinet in 2019.
Lesufi added that the government is introducing an e-panic button for victims of GBV to quickly inform the police patrolling their ward.
"To all the women and children, we want to declare that you will be safe under our leadership."
The Gauteng Provincial Government continues to work tirelessly to fight the scourge of GBVF with 39 Green Doors across the province to offer immediate assistance to victims.
Since 2019, 1 151 GBV and crime victims have accessed and received support in these shelters.
The province has launched the Floor Management Programme within police stations to limit secondary victimisation and waiting times for those reporting GBVF crimes.
Furthermore, the Department of Community Safety deployed GBV Brigades in all wards, and 30 dedicated GBVF social workers were appointed.
Working with law enforcement agencies, the GBV Brigades are on the frontline in the fight against GBV by working in their wards, visiting households and creating awareness of its impact.
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