Mar 2024 Special edition

Eradicating gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF)

The National Strategic Plan on GBVF was developed, together with civil society, as a society-wide response to this national emergency.

Around R21 billion has been dedicated over the medium term to the implementation of the six pillars of the plan, including the economic empowerment of women.

Three new laws were introduced to strengthen the response of the criminal justice system to GBV in order to:

  • tighten bail and increase minimum sentences for perpetrators of GBV;
  • criminalise sexual intimidation and incest;
  • extend the register of sexual offenders to include particulars of all convicted sex offenders, irrespective of the age and the mental status of the sex crime victim; and
  • improve protections against domestic violence.

Eight new Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) have been established since 2018, bringing the total number of centres to 63. TCCs provide a one-stop service to survivors of sexual offences and domestic violence.

Forty-two new Sexual Offences Courts have been established since 2018, bringing the total number of these specialised courts to 83 as at July 2023.

Victim-friendly rooms were established at 1 159 police stations across the country.

Reduced the DNA processing backlog

Government procured and delivered 1.5 million DNA kits and reduced the backlog in DNA processing from 210 000 exhibits in April 2021 to around 58 000 in February 2022, with a further 281 110 DNA reports processed between October 2022 and July 2023.

GBVF conviction rates improve

The NPA has achieved an average conviction rate of 94% in femicide prosecutions and 75% in sexual offences prosecutions since 2019.

GBVF Response Fund

The GBVF Response Fund 1 was launched, which raised R200 million from the private sector for community-based organisations (CBOs) combating GBVF. In the first year of the Fund’s operation, 53 CBOs were funded, reaching 280 000 participants.

Empowering women is a priority

Government has committed to direct 40% of government’s procurement towards women-owned enterprises to promote women’s empowerment. Close to 6 000 women-owned businesses were trained in essential business skills to apply for government tenders. 

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