Photo: Sipho Stuurman / SABC / Twitter

DA: Key departments a no show at meeting for gender-based violence

A meeting held on 19 November 2019, where committees would discuss solutions to gender-based violence, was a sham, says the DA.


Photo: Sipho Stuurman / SABC / Twitter

A statement released by DA MP and Deputy Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Nazley Sharif, said her Portfolio Committee hosted a joint meeting on Tuesday, 19 November 2019, with the Committees on Social Development, Health and Police, among others, to discuss Government’s interventions to tackle Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF).

According to Sharif, the meeting turned out to be nothing more than a sham and seemingly a tick-box exercise for some of the departments involved in addressing this serious issue within society.

DA calls meeting a sham

The Democratic Alliance (DA) expressed their disappointment and anger at the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, as they were wholly unprepared for the meeting and did not supply members of other committees with the correct documentation in order for everyone to be well equipped. 

“Furthermore, we were left disappointed by the absence of the Department of Social Development (DSD), including the Minister herself, Lindiwe Zulu, who did not even bother to attend the meeting. DSD is a critical implementing agent of Government’s GBV policies, and their absence is a smack in the face for women and children across the country,” said Sharif. 

When the meeting will be held 

The DA said that due to the shenanigans of the day, the joint meeting had to be postponed for the second time and is indicative of the National Government’s lack of urgency to ensure the safety of our women and children. 

“This is, unfortunately, a recurring practice by the Departments involved, who continuously come to Parliament unprepared or with incorrect information which makes oversight incredibly difficult and frustrating,” said Sharif. 

The way forward 

The DA will write to Deputy President, David Mabuza, in his capacity as Leader of Government Business, to request he reprimand Minister Zulu and Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

The DA said that several other Departments responsible for implementing changes to help keep our women and children safe were also not present at the joint meeting. This resulted in several Portfolio Committees being unable to receive any information on the budget allocations, timeframes and progress that has been made in the fight against GBV. 

“There is no doubt of the reality of the crisis we face. Women and children are being raped and murdered on a daily basis. The complacency displayed by Minister Mashabane and Minister Zulu and their departments is indicative of a complete disregard for the pain, grief and violence faced by South African women,” said Sharif.  

The DA says the next meeting will proceed on Tuesday, 26 November 2019.