Government puts R500 million into fighting gender-based violence

“No, maybe you should listen first,” the President snapped at heckling MPs

The South African government is putting R500 million into fighting gender-based violence. Some MPs heckled and interrupted the announcement, but President Ramaphosa was having none of that.

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The President Snapped at the MPs interrupting the GBV announcement

When President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the issue of GBV recently, some sh*t went down in the National Assembly, TimesLive reports. He announced that the government is putting an additional R500 million into fighting gender-based violence.

In the Q&A session, the DA MPs interrupted and heckled him. And the President got annoyed af. Understandable as GBV is a serious issue. When President Ramaphosa snapped, this is what he said:

‘No, maybe you should listen first. We’re dealing with a very serious matter and I must say, deputy speaker, that I do object to members trivialising this matter by interjecting as I answer because when they ask questions I don’t interject,’ he said.

And where’s the lie? South Africa has some of the worst gender-based violence stats in the world. At around 110 rapes and 56 murders a day, the stats are similar to countries at war.

Related: South Africa’s Horrifying Gender-Based Violence Stats and the Latest Plan to Fix It

 

GBV is No Trivial Matter

Uyinene’s alleged killer, Luyanda Botha, is in court on trial for her rape and murder at the moment. The county will not forget that brutal post office murder any time soon. #AmINext was just the other day and we still want justice. Now is not the time to trivialise gender-based violence. This issue should never be trivialised, tbh.

President Ramphosa further chastised the MPs who interrupted: ‘the women of our country are listening and they don’t want to hear heckling to the questions that you have raised.’ Correct!

He also recognises that gender-based violence is a national crisis, which is why R1,6 billion has been made available and funds have been re-prioritised:

‘When I asked this house to approve the emergency action plan to combat gender-based violence and femicide two months ago, it was in response to a national crisis,’ – EWN reports

 

How will the R1.6 Billion GBV Emergency Fund be spent?

The additional R500 million raises the GBV emergency fund to R1.6bn. Here’s the plan for that cash:

  • R179 million will go to education, awareness and prevention programmes
  • R517 million will fund care and support programmes for GBV survivors
  • 200 social workers will be hired specifically for survivors at social work centres

 

Police Rape Kits and Social Workers

President Ramaphosa will take a closer look at SAPS. In particular, he will hold police minister Bheki Cele accountable as there are still reportedly no rape kits at some police stations.

Without rape kits, the police can’t get DNA evidence of rapists and other sex offenders when survivors come forward.

Related: 9 Things Every Woman Should Know When Stopped by the Cops

The government is also partnering up with civil society to fast-track this urgent change. When President Ramaphosa referred to the alleged attempted rape of a 91-year-old grandmother from Soweto, he said that social workers and resources would be sent her way to assist her.

Her alleged rapist is her 53-year-old son. He has been arrested and the President said he hopes the courts will not release him on bail. Speaking about this tragedy, he said:

‘What we need to lay out to her is that we’re a caring and sensitive government, we’re going to be there to support her and we’re also going to mobilise a number of other organisations to be there, to support her as best as we possibly can.’

Related: Dear Men, This is How You Can Help Us Fight Gender-based Violence in the Age of ‘Am I Next’

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