The Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, recently delivered his annual State of the Province Address (SOPA) in Velddrif, marking the official opening of the provincial Parliament.
During his speech, Winde indicated that the Provincial Cabinet has now adopted their Gender-Based Violence (GBV) implementation plan, as well as that key intervention that has been identified and agreed upon to be prioritised by all the 13 Heads of Departments.
According to Winde, the transversal nature of this plan is fundamental because GBV is not just the responsibility of the Department of Social Development, but that of every department.
“We are fully committed to implementing this plan and will constantly review it so that it is improved. But fighting the scourge of GBV cannot be the responsibility of the government alone. The pervasive nature of this violence means that every single organisation, be it private or public, needs its own GBV implementation plan,” Winde said.
However, just days after the Premier’s SOPA speech, a 44-year-old woman was murdered in Khayelitsha Wednesday, 16 February. According to reports, her body was discovered around 7 am.No arrests have been made yet, as this is also the fifth woman to be murdered in Cape Town in the last four days.
The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) spokesperson on Community Safety in the Western Cape, Reagan Allen, further explained that the South African Police Service (SAPS) are under-resourced, under-trained, under-staffed, and are facing ever-increasing challenges of DNA processing and currently only process samples at a mere 15% capacity.
“I thus welcome the announcement made that the WC government will expand our monitoring of police stations and will be renamed the department of police oversight and community safety.
“This department is the only one of its kind in South Africa, with a two-pronged approach to violence prevention and law enforcement, coupled with effective oversight. Yet again, the Western Cape has to go above and beyond its mandate as a result of a failing, ANC-run national government,” Allen explained.
According to Allen, there has also been a great success in the province’s LEAP deployment as over 1 000 officers have added extra boots on the ground as no other province invests in community safety to the extent the Western Cape government does.
“We can no longer afford to have the national government continuously take away the much-needed resources from our crime-fighting efforts.
“The decentralisation of SAPS would be a step in the right direction and will put the power where it truly belongs – on a provincial and municipal level with officers who are entrenched in and a part of the communities they serve,” Allen reiterated.
Meanwhile, the Western Cape’s Department of Health has also established a Violence Prevention Unit to identify and design interventions to reduce violence in communities across the province through an evidence-based public health strategy.