Capetonians gathered in Blue Downs on Wednesday at the launch of the Western Cape’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
Western Cape Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Thembisile Patekile was among numerous speakers who urged all citizens to tackle GBV issues with determination, particularly men. He further commended the bravery of the three female students who took to the stage to speak out about issues that affect them.
The 2021 campaign is the year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke – moving from awareness to accountability.
South Africans are deeply affected by GBV, hosting one of the highest rates of female murders in the world and battling against societal ills including gangsterism, domestic violence and unemployment. Activists have meanwhile raised ongoing calls for SAPS to be overhauled, citing inadequacies in victim support and police training.
Trust in the criminal justice system has deteriotated over the years, given the rate of convictions and bail being granted to rape suspects.
Provincial officials remain chuffed about their provincial Safety Plan, confident that progress to reduce crime can be achieved. The Western Cape was the only province to record a drop in all serious crimes in the latest quarter. Dozens of officials are also being trained to increase capacity in the most vulnerable areas.
Officials and organisations signed a pledge wherein they committed to fighting domestic violence, sexual related crimes and abuse.
The campaign runs annually from 25 November to 10 December.