- The government has identified 30 hotspots where gender-based violence and femicide are most rife.
- President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the government would increase and improve support for survivors of gender-based violence, particularly in the hotspots.
- Services include an integrated and multidisciplinary model that incorporates psycho-social support, case investigation, housing services and economic empowerment for survivors.
The government is to increase victim support in 30 identified hotspots where gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide are most rife.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced this on Wednesday evening when he said the country would move to Level 1 of the Covid-19 lockdown at midnight on Sunday.
He said violence against women and children continued unabated during the pandemic in South Africa.
"We are determined to continue with our resolve to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide," the president said.
Ramaphosa said there had been a surge in GBV and femicide incidents across the country during Level 3 of the lockdown.
Ramaphosa referenced two recent cases: that of Tshegofatso Pule, who was found stabbed and hanged in a tree in Roodepoort and Naledi Phangindawo, who was the victim of an axe attack and who was eventually stabbed to death in Mossel Bay.
More recently, in September, a man allegedly shot and killed his wife inside a police station in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, while she was there reporting a domestic violence case.
In the Western Cape, a 20-year-old man was arrested on 6 September after a woman was found murdered with a rope around her neck.
In his address to the nation, Ramaphosa said based on the latest data, they had identified 30 hotspots around the country where the problem was 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 hotspots," Ramaphosa said.
"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."
Ramaphosa said this would include the rollout of an integrated and multidisciplinary model that incorporates psycho-social support, case investigation, housing services and economic empowerment for survivors.
He added that Khuseleka One Stop Centres would expand on the mandate of the existing network of Thuthuzela Care Centres and that they were already operational in districts in the 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."
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