Minster Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma outlines her department’s progress in addressing the scourge of GBVF

Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. File Picture: Independent Newspapers

Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. File Picture: Independent Newspapers

Published May 3, 2024


Minister in The Presidency for Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was taken to task during a question and answer session in Parliament by the opposition earlier this week.

Nazley Khan Sharif expressed the worrying and unacceptable increase of the rate of femicide in South Africa and asked Dlamini-Zuma to explain what steps her office has taken in this war against women from their current or former partners since her tenure started in June 2019.

Dlamini-Zuma said the responsibility for combating the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) rested with all of society if any progress towards its eradication is to be made.

“GBVF is a complex phenomenon that happens in families, households and communities, thus we need all to be invested in the fight against this pandemic. From each individual, household/family, and community to all state actors, there is a need for a concerted no tolerance to GBVF in all its forms. This will ensure the implementation of both proactive and reactive measures to combat the scourge,” she said.

Dlamini-Zuma said in March 2020, Cabinet approved the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on GBVF and the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on GBVF and the National Council on GBVF. The implementation of the NSP on GBVF coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic. Since 2020, the department has coordinated and monitored the implementation of the NSP on GBVF by governments and key stakeholders monthly.

“With this understanding in mind, the department coordinates and monitors the implementation of the NSP on GBVF by government and key stakeholders monthly.

“Despite the Covid-19 context, the government continued to address GBVF as a twin pandemic so as to better understand its impact on women. We set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on GBVF in June 2020 consisting of the Ministers of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities as the convener; Social Development; Police; Justice and Correctional Services; Public Service and Administration and National Treasury to guide the process of implementation,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

She explained there were pockets of positive results through various multi-sectoral collaborative platforms that implemented joint interventions and funding mechanisms.

The department implemented 100-day challenges of the END GBVF Collective and the faith sector collaborative platform plays a central role in prevention and rebuilding social cohesion.

“In February 2021, we launched the private sector GBVF Response Fund. The fund follows the principles enshrined in the NSP on GBVF of harnessing the roles, responsibilities, and resources of all stakeholders.

“The relationship between civil society networks and governments has allowed for a strengthened and coordinated implementation. Various development partners and academic institutions have also contributed towards implementation,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

The Rapid Response Teams (RRT) at district and local municipalities across the country were also established.

“The department does not have a provincial foot. To strengthen reach, through support from European Union Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment programme, we have appointed GBVF technical monitors and data capturers and placed them in provinces.

“The department has driven the National Council on GBVF Bill as a game-changer in the fight against GBVF. Key principles in the Bill include coordination championed by the highest political office, a multi-sectoral structure, institutional independence and autonomy, a ring-fenced budget with a dedicated GBVF fund, a bottom-up approach across all government tiers, and significant collaboration between government and civil society,” Dlamini- Zuma said.

In the 2023/2024 Annual Performances Plan, she said the Department committed to monitor and enforce accountability to the targets of the NSP on GBVF, including but not limited to reporting on implementation of the NSP on GBVF by government and key stakeholders through the following interventions:

– Submission of monthly progress reports that are collated and analysed by the department; and quality assured by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and the Presidency; used to produce annual reports.

– The Department presents the progress reports that outline gaps, challenges, and areas of improvement across the six NSP on GBVF Pillars to various Directors-General Clusters and the Forum of South African Directors-General (FOSAD) as a standing item. The monthly reports are translated into a quarterly report for the attention of the President.

– The department utilises these reports as a tool to monitor, and enforce accountability of accounting officers and allow them to assess progress made by their respective departments in implementing their allocated NSP on GBVF targets and take necessary corrective measures.

– The two NSP on GBVF annual reports produced by the department include the scorecards that further reflect the level of sector department performance across the six Pillars of the NSP on GBVF and recommendations for implementation.

“Ultimately our success is about women, children, and LGBTQIA+ persons feeling safe and free in their homes, in their communities, and in themselves. We have also developed a prevention strategy, as prevention is key in curbing murders and all forms of gendered violence. Currently, we are in the process of driving the concept of dealing with GBVF as a pandemic.

“We had the inaugural workshop with government stakeholders across all tiers in March 2024. In this drive, we want to use our convening power as the department to institutionalise a coordinated national response from national, to provinces, to districts, municipalities and to ward levels.

“GBVF continues to be a national crisis, and this may make it difficult to see the pockets of progress. We have been intensifying efforts to harness all to collectively respond, accelerate efforts, and develop partnerships and strategies toward a whole-of-society approach toward eradicating GBVF,” Dlamini-Zuma concluded.

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