It has been said that Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) is a South African pandemic, with the country being labeled the capital rape of the world.
In responding to issues relating to GBVF, NACOSA in partnership with the provincial government, SAPS, University of Limpopo, donors and Civil Societies took to the streets of Polokwane on Thursday night to claim back the night and, safer space for women and children.
The peaceful 5km march that started at SABC park and ended at Jack Botes hall, was attended by MEC for Transport and Community Safety Florence Radzilani, civil society representatives, government officials representatives and members of the public.
The aim of the walk was not only to take back the night from perpetrators who terrorize mostly women and children, but to raise awareness about services available to prevent and respond to unlawful GBVF acts without leaving anyone behind.
The walk was also used as an activation for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence involving multisectoral with the intention to raise awareness and launching 365 days and not only be active in the month of November.
From SABC park, marchers took the routes of Market Street where SANTACO pledged their support to ending the GBVF by playing an active role when it comes to the safety of commuters. SANTACO pleaded with all members of the community to make use of registered taxis as they will be granted a safer destination, as compared to lifts that more often passengers are reported to have been victims of crime.
The walk attracted sex workers along Bok Street, they joined in advocating for a safer working environment with clients, that at times leave without paying for services rendered or being abused for the type of business they are providing service for by virtue of being women.
Handing over the pledge by Ms Caroline Thema, some of the demands included; publication of perpetrators names in the national register to medicate the risk of GBVF, justice for all victims, acceleration of GBVF cases in the courts, anti-violence education in school curriculum.
Receiving the pledge on behalf of Premier Chupu Stanley Mathabatha, MEC Radzilani acknowledged efforts by stakeholders working together with government to end any act related to GBVF.
“We are humbled by civil society initiatives, this memorandum we just received here will be circulated to all departments within 7 days from today to reach all MECs to support the call to fight and end GBFV, we hope this campaign will send a strong message to perpetrators that government is serious about ending this pandemic.“ said Radzilani
By: Emmaculate Cindi