South Africa: Zuma must commit to a national plan to end GBV!

Date: February 12, 2015
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Johannesburg, 12 February: Citizens of South Africa, eagerly await tonight’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), anxious to hear what President Zuma has to say, not only about Nkandla and loadshedding, but an equally pressing concern- gender equality and the National Strategic Plan for addressing gender violence.

According to GL’s GBV Indicators Study, over three quarters (77%) of women in Limpopo; 51% of women in Gauteng; 45% of women in the Western Cape and 36% of women in KwaZulu Natal report experiencing some form of violence (emotional, economic, physical or sexual) at least once in their lifetime both within and outside their intimate relationships. A higher proportion of men in Gauteng (78%) and KwaZulu Natal (41%) than women admitted to perpetrating violence against women in their lifetime. A lower proportion of men, compared to the proportion of women in Limpopo (48%) and Western Cape (35%) admitted to perpetrating some form of violence against women.

Tonight’s SONA marks two years of inaction and empty promises from government on gender-based violence – the NSP campaign partners are calling on President Zuma to commit to a national plan to end gender-based violence.

The Zuma administration must follow through on its promises to create a National Strategic Plan for GBV: Beginning in December 2012, government committed to creating the country’s first NSP on Gender-Based Violence. The process was begun, but has been stalled, undermined and suspended over the last year. Civil society has thus taken to the streets over the last 16 days of activism campaign to challenge government to live up to its promises to develop and fully fund an NSP on GBV.

Previous efforts of NSP Partners: Over the last 16 Days, thousands of South Africans have marched in mobilisations across the country and have written messages to Minister Shabangu, demanding an NSP. Despite these efforts, Minister Shabangu has been unwilling to meet with, or publicly respond to the demands of, a coalition of more than 30 leading gender equality, human rights, and service provision organisations.

Why an NSP? We’ve learned from South Africa’s experience with HIV, that a National Strategic Plan can be an important tool to gain the political commitment and funding required to tackle large social challenges that require a coordinated response among diverse stakeholders. No one department or NGO will be able to end the violence or improve the response alone. Piecemeal underfunded efforts will not solve a problem as big and complex as South Africa’s epidemic of gender-based violence.

We can’t afford another plan full of empty promises and unfunded mandates Civil society groups are demanding a National Strategic Plan that is funded, inclusive and accountable. The NSP must
– (a) be fully costed and commit significant new resources;
– (b) be developed through an open, inclusive and consultative process and
– (c) create real accountability by reviving and reconstituting the National Gender-Based Violence Council, as an independent multi-sectoral oversight and accountability mechanism

We can’t afford not to act
– A recent report by KPMG found that GBV costs South Africa between R28 billion and R42 billion every year. That is 1% of our GDP
– A comprehensive national response to GBV is a strategic investment: a study in the UK found that for every 1 pound spent on prevention, the government saved 6 pounds on response services.
– Meanwhile, last year the Auditor General noted that R32 billion was spent on wasteful, irregular and fruitless expenditure by various state departments. South Africa is a middle income country that can afford an NSP

– Join the NSP partners campaign
– Facebook and Tweet your support: Use the hashtag #NSPnow




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