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No Word from the National Council on Gender-Based Violence

25 November, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NO WORD FROM THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

It has been one year since thousands of South Africans took to the streets across the country to demand a National Strategic Plan (NSP) on Gender-Based Violence (GBV). A plan promised to our country by President Zuma. A plan leading to the establishment of a National Council on GBV (NCGBV) to develop and implement. A plan to bring hope to victims of GBV and our nation. A plan that still does not exist.

Looking back today, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the start of 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women, we see little change for survivours of GBV.

The NCGBV has become an unfunded mandate since it was adopted into the Department of Social Development, following Minister Shabangu’s dismissal thereof from the Department of Women, in 2014. Not a single rand has been allotted by Treasury to address a problem that costs the South African economy between R28.4 and R42.4 billion annually. Unfunded and unwanted, there has been no word on the NCGBV – a Council ordered and created within the Presidency.

Since the dormancy of the NCGBV in 2014, civil society has advocated for its resurrection. We have echoed that a plan will unite the scattered GBV services in our country and ensure necessary steps are taken to work towards prevention and reducing the scale of GBV within SA. We have suggested how the government can take up a plan in a strategic, cost-effective way. And yet, we have repeatedly been shot down by the Department of Women, whose mandate no longer includes GBV or violence against women.

The apathy by government stakeholders and the lack of political will to address GBV is not only worrisome, but unacceptable. It also goes against the very international and pan-African laws that South Africa signed. With some of the highest rates of GBV in the world, the South African government has been passive long enough.

As the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women visits the country next week, civil society will voice the lack of funding and indifference that we experience every day at the hands of government. We will voice this in honour of the women, men and children who are less safe due to government inaction.

No more empty promises! No more lip service! No more unfunded mandates!

Civil society demands answers on the status of the NCGBV and its future.

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Signed:
The National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence Campaign: a coalition of 33 civil society organisations. This press release is endorsed by:
World AIDS Campaign International (WACI)
Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture
Access Chapter 2
Treatment Action Campaign (TAC)
MOSAIC
Sonke Gender Justice
NACOSA
TB/HIV Care Association
Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme (TVEP)
Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT)
Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC)
Greater Nelspruit Rape Intervention Project (GRIP)

Media contact details:
Kerryn Rehse
MOSAIC
(e) krehse@mosaic.org.za
(p)  021 761 7585

Tanya Charles
Sonke Gender Justice
(e) tanyac@genderjustice.org.za
(p) 011  339 3589

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