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Implementation concerns mar optimism over new GBV law

todayMay 24, 2024 37

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Anti-violence advocacy group, Voice It In Action, says while it welcomes the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill, a more sustained and collaborated approach is needed to fight the scourge.
President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the bill, which was first introduced in 2022, into law earlier today.
The Act aims to provide support and resources for GBV survivors and enhance accountability for perpetrators as part of efforts to address the high incidents of GBVF in South Africa.
According to a Centre for Constitutional Rights study, the femicide rate in South Africa was five times the global average in 2017, while Stats SA’s 2018/2019 figures show that almost 50% of South African women were at some point assaulted by someone close to them.
Speaking to YNews, Voice It In Action president, Kgothatso Moloto, said consistency is needed in dealing with GBV cases for efforts in place to bear fruit.
Moloto says his organisation will review the new law to see if any of the suggestions they made during public submissions were added.
Among the proposals Voice It In Action had made was the inclusion of young skilled individuals to ensure the smooth implementation of the provisions of the bill.

Another civil rights movement, Not In My Name International, wants government to work together with Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) in eliminating GBVF.

The organisation says the fight needs an all-hands-on deck approach.

Not In My Name International’s Themba Masango says working in silos is behind the slow pace of progress in efforts to eradicate the scourge.

 

While latest stats have shown a drop in sexual offences in the country, Masango says it remains a concern that South Africa is still regarded as the rape capital of the world by Interpol SA, with femicide rates just as bad.

He has reiterating Not In My Name International’s call for organisations that deal with the boy child to step in when conversations on GBV are being had.
Masango believes that a neglected boy child grows up to be a perpetrator.
He says it is easier to raise a holistic boy than to fix a broken man.

The Soul City Institute for Social Justice has expressed disappointment in the final draft of the legislation.

The organisation says key structures, which were initially part of the plan, have been left out leaving question marks on the capabilities of the council that will be set up to implement it.

Soul City Institute for Social GBV Technical Specialist and Activist, Nonhle Skosana, has told YNews that despite this, however, they are not shocked as they did anticipate that the final draft of the Act could miss the mark.

 

Amnesty International South Africa has described the signing of the bill as a positive step, but says implementation is key.

“It is a positive step towards ensuring the effective roll out of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-based Violence and Femicide which was adopted in 2020,” says the organisation, which is urging the government to ensure that the new legislation is timeously, transparently and effectively implemented.

“It must also ensure adequate resources for the implementation of the National Strategic Plan, without this the law on the national council and the strategic plan will have no real impact.”

When signing the bill, President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed hope that the Act would be well received compared to the NHI bill.

The President outlined some of the strides made in the fight against GBV, which has been dubbed a pandemic in the country.

He also signed the NPA Amendment Bill, which is aimed at strengthening the fight against corruption.

The bill provides for the establishment of the Investigating Directorate (ID) against corruption, among others.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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