On Tuesday, 22 August Masimanyane Women's Rights International together with Women's Ikhwelo Network (WIN) hosted an accountability dialogue to address issues of Gender-based violence

Gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) is a critical social ill that has left no sector of our society untouched. Hon. President, Mr Ramaphosa, said that South Africa holds the shameful distinction of being one of the most unsafe places in the world for women.

The President signed the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on GBVF in 2020. The NSP on GBVF sets out to provide a cohesive strategic framework to guide the national response to the pandemic of GBVF that poses a serious challenge to the country's development and goal of leaving no one behind.

Giving her welcoming remarks at this dialogue the Executive Mayor for BCMM Princess Faku said, “ With profound honour and privilege, I stand before you on behalf of the People of Buffalo City Metro to extend a warm welcome to this critical Accountability Dialogue. This platform serves as a nexus for us to deepen our commitment to accountability, a commitment that holds paramount importance as we address the grave issues of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF).”

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is with deep concern that I address the alarming increase in cases of kidnapping, extortion, and violence against women within the Buffalo City Metro.

Recent incidents, such as the kidnapping of a woman outside a Shoprite in Highway, Mdantsane, have brought this issue into sharp focus.”

“Our commitment to combating GBVF extends beyond rhetoric; it is a commitment rooted in understanding that community safety and prosperity are intrinsically linked. Thus, as we address GBVF, we must simultaneously address the underlying social and economic factors that perpetuate violence. This underscores the imperative of accelerating socio-economic opportunities for the empowerment of women,”added Faku.

“Our goal is to create an environment where women and girls feel safe and empowered in public spaces.

As part of our efforts to fight against Gender Based Violence and Femicide, The Buffalo City Metro will launch a GBVF Multisectoral Committee that will advocate, share resources and strategic response tactics to fight the scourge of GBVF, the launch will take place before the end of August 2023, I invite all stakeholders to participate in this initiative.”

“I am pleased to announce that the Buffalo City Community Safety Forum is committed to amplifying its collaboration with esteemed organizations like Masimanyane Women’s Rights International, working tirelessly to achieve the outlined objectives,” she said.

She further added that In parallel, the City is actively engaged in a project that aims to install surveillance cameras across various urban locations.

“This initiative signifies a significant stride forward in our ongoing efforts to mitigate crime and establish a secure environment for all residents. By strategically placing cameras throughout the city, we aim to deter criminal activities and provide law enforcement with the tools necessary for swift responses. This commitment not only reaffirms our dedication to community safety but also underscores our resolve to address complex challenges through innovative solutions.”

In closing off Faku said, “Furthermore, I am delighted to share that Buffalo City Metro is embarking on the establishment of a City Police force in collaboration with the South African Police Services. This joint effort underscores our unwavering commitment to ensuring safety and security for our communities.”

The dialogue to place at the East London International Convention Center (ICC).