‘Stronger implementation of GBVF laws and better oversight needed’

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Parliament’s Select Committee on Security and Justice says it needs to increase its focus on gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide.

MPs were briefed by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill and the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill on Wednesday.

These bills are two of three, relating to GBV and femicide, introduced to Parliament in 2018. Following a spate of rapes and attacks on women, President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the tightening of legislation relating to GBVF.

The aim of these pieces of legislation is to strengthen South Africa’s response to the scourge. The bills have already been passed by the National Assembly.

Today’s briefing dealt with technical and general amendments.

Chair, Shahidabibi Shaikh, said stronger implementation of these laws was needed as well as better oversight from Parliament.

“Issues being raised by stakeholders are also around women being more vulnerable, especially in rural and or in farm dwelling settings and issues around equitable access to services let alone the capacity to deliver the issues. Well the bill to try to address some of these systemic and other challenges. This is also an area of oversight and accountability around implementation of legislation of gender-based violence and as parliament we do need to increase our focus or oversight in terms of gender based violence,” he suggested.

Discussion on the Bills dealing with GBV and femicide: