Pretoria – Through data collected while the country was on a hard Covid-19 lockdown since March 26, the government has been able to identify 30 hot spots where gender-based violence is rife.
This was revealed by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address to the nation on Covid-19-related matters on Wednesday evening.
Ramaphosa lamented that violence against women and children continued unabated during the period of the pandemic. He said the government was determined to continue with its resolve to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide, which is one of the highest in the world.
“Based on the latest data, we have identified 30 hot spots around the country where this problem is most rife. As we move to the next alert level, we are increasing and improving support services for survivors of gender-based violence, particularly in the identified hot spots.
’’We have to do so not just because the lockdown is being eased, but as part of work already under way to implement the national strategic plan adopted by cabinet earlier this year,” he said, without naming the specific hot spots.
When the country moved into lockdown mode, logged cases of gender-based violence and domestic abuse in police stations across the country skyrocketed. Some NGOs said that was because most victims were perennially trapped under one roof with their abusers.
Some of the victims were eventually killed by their abusers while others were left with physical and emotional scars.
Moreover, on the matter of hot spots, Ramaphosa said his cabinet’s pushback plan against the violence and its perpetrators includes the roll-out of an integrated and multidisciplinary model that incorporates psycho-social support, case investigation, housing services and economic empowerment for survivors under one roof.
“The Khuseleka one-stop centres expand on the mandate of the existing network of Thuthuzela care centres, and are already operational in districts in North West, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.
’’Work is under way to expand this model of care and support to all provinces. Let us spare no effort to eradicate the problem of violence against women and children.”