In March last year, South African women were promised they would not be next.
Following a total shutdown and a mass outcry demanding justice and action, a bold R21 billion plan aimed at eradicating gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) by 2030 was approved and a national council on GBVF was to be formulated within six months to oversee the implementation of this plan.
“Twenty months later we’re still waiting,” said Masimbulele Buso, managing director of the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation.
“In August 2021, we took to the streets with a post office to parliament campaign to address the stagnation of focus on GBVF.
“Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane heard us and pledged that the national council on GBVF would be in place by the end of December 2021. She agreed that more should have been done and that women had had enough of being ‘slaughtered like goats’.”
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To keep the pressure on policymakers, ensure actual accountability and the implementation of the national council on GBVF, the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation has partnered with 1st for Women Insurance.
Seugnette van Wyngaard, head of 1st for Women, said: “We’re pulling out all the stops to make sure our leaders deliver on the promises they’ve made and to ensure that GBV is not a footnote, but part of the agenda.
“According to the SA Police Service, between April and June 2021, rape increased by 72.4% and sexual offences increased by 74.1% compared with the previous reporting period. This place of limbo cannot continue.
“Without this council, the national strategic plan on gender-based violence and femicide vision will not be achieved. We’re already on the back foot.”
Buso said the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation was founded in celebration of the life of Uyinene Mrwetyana.
“She is remembered for her lifelong vision of fighting all forms of injustice against women, including patriarchal oppression and issues of GBVF.
“Now it’s your turn, the people of South Africa, to join us to stamp out GBVF,” Buso said.