The African National Congress (ANC) has categorised children, woman and the elderly people as the vulnerable part of our society and is committed in protecting them from all kinds of abuse. Given the history of violent society created by apartheid, we continue to face concerning and shocking incidences of violence in our society The woman in South Africa received what is called the triple oppression, where they were discriminated based on race, class gender.
The African National Congress is committed in fighting and correcting the injustices of the past and it is important to note that the many years of oppression left structural systems that were meant to oppress the black people in general and the African people in particular.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, we have witnessed the numbers of gender-based violence increasing and this meant that the fight against GBV must be intensified.
In the state of the Nation Address (SONA) President Cyril Ramaphosa declared both the GBV and Femicide as a national pandemic which required a national response to fight it. Further President declared the GBV as a pandemic and like any other pandemic there is a need to mobilise every South African to stand together in the fight against gender-based violence.
The National Strategic Plan against GBV must be implemented fully and to continue to mobilise different parts of the society to join hands in the fight against GBV. We need to come with more practical solutions in the fight against GBV, the problem is deeper and structured and would require more substantive measures to fight it.
The patriarchal attitudes in our society favours dominance of one gender over the other and it emanate from simple thing as gender roles. As the society we must come up with creative means of fighting this dominance even if we should lobby for the structuring the paternity leave in manner that fathers would be able to take responsibility in doing that, they would appreciate that both woman and men are equal in our society.
The African National Congress in the 54th national conference in 2017, conference resolved that the perpetrators of crimes against woman and children must be subjected to harsher sentence while there must be clear working relations between police, social workers especially dealing with victims of the abuse.
The African National Congress government is committed in fighting the gender-based violence hence the last three years the police department has been dedicating funds from the budget vote support police intensifying the fight crime against woman, and that proves that the fight against GBV is a priority to the department. Indeed, the gender-based violence and sexual offences action plan stipulates that there must be resource injected in these units both at provincial and national level.
The department has put in place different measures in trying combating crime. The department is committed to monitoring South African Police Services compliance and implementation of the Domestic Violence Act.
The department will conduct oversight in police stations in different police station particular those who rank high on the gender-based violence related cases in different province. This will enhance the police response on the cases of gender-based violence.
The African National Congress and government will continue with awareness campaign that include involvement of churches or faith-based organizations and the society at all large.
The department saw the need to have a joint program between the police and the social workers in trying to provide support to the survivors of gender-based violence. And in the process identify the causes that lead to the withdrawal of the gender-based violence cases while ensuring that the police are able to perform their responsibilities fully. This can be done through creating a friendly environment for the victims from the very first movement they enter the police stations, a safe and private space must be created for the purpose of the interviews and this is to ensure those police respond promptly and they make victims feel protected at all times.
The DNA analysis is very instrumental in the process of concluding cases of fight against the gender-based violence. The DNA testing is critical and vital in the war against this pandemic. However, is clear that the police have been having challenges in that area and that lead to the backlog we have been experiencing that then hinder the courts to access the evidence so that cases can be concluded faster.
However, the police have acknowledged the challenges and they have been working hard in trying to address this challenge and indeed there is work done. It is safe to say that the police are in the process of addressing this problem and there is progress and some arrests have been made which is a positive sigh there is work done, we applaud the police for these efforts.
The other challenge that needs to be addressed is the need to increase of capacity in terms of laboratories in the country as it stands, we have only four labs in the country, at Gauteng, KZN, EC and the Western Cape on those four the other two (WC and GP) perform both evidence recovery and DNA analysis while EC and KZN perform only doing evidence recovery. There is a need to intensify the recovery plan to address the backlog in the DNA testing labs. The DNA board and the police service are working together in trying to make sure that DNA backlog is resolved.
In conclusion, we have seen the level of commitment put by the government of the African National Congress in waging a war against gender-based violence and femicide, like any other challenge it will require all South Africans to hold hand together in the fight against this pandemic. This struggle is deeply rooted in a patriarchal that we live in today and hence there is a need to change the mind set of the society and how different genders live side by side in harmony.
There are certain tendencies that we must unlearn as the society that were used by the capitalist system like the idea of division of labour where responsibilities were given to certain people because of their genders but begin to understand that we are all equal. As the African National Congress, we support this budget vote as it will be an instrument to fight gender-based violence and lastly, ending gender-based violence (GBV) is imperative if we kay claims to being society that is rooted in equality and non-sexism.
The End Thank you!!!