Cape Town – National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondio have called on the public to take part in the submissions on three key laws to deal with gender-based violence (GBV).
The three bills were recently tabled by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola following a huge public outcry on the increase in GBV cases across the country.
The public has been given until the end of September to comment on the three bills.
President Cyril Ramaphosa told the nation on Thursday, during his address on the easing of restrictions, that they had identified 30 hot spots on GBV during the lockdown.
Last year, Ramaphosa injected R1.6 billion in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide.
On Thursday, Modise and Masondo said the public have to take part in the crafting of the three bills to clamp down on the scourge affecting the country.
Lamola had tabled the Domestic Violence Bill, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related) Bill and the Criminal and Related Matters Bill.
The presiding officers called on the public make written submissions and comment on these bills.
“We urge all South Africans to put their heads together and contribute to this process to ensure that we have a watertight legislative framework that will close all gaps in current laws and reinforce the hand of our criminal justice system to decisively break the back of the scourge of gender-based violence in our country.
’’Perpetrators of gender-based violence must have no place to hide, they must be squeezed out of our society and the full might of the law must come down hard on them,” said Modise and Masondo in a statement.
They said the Domestic Violence Bill will deal with, among others, getting protection orders in these cases.
They said many women were killed at the hands of their partners.
The new laws would tighten the loopholes and ensure the perpetrators were dealt with.
Police Minister Bheki Cele last month released crime statistics for the last financial year which showed an increase in GBV and femicide cases.
The figures also showed a spike in the killing of children in the country.