In his recent address to the nation on Covid-19, President Cyril Ramaphosa admitted that the tide of femicide and violence against women has not receded. A mysterious Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide has reportedly been established and R80-million made available in grants to civil society. Are these just more empty promises?
Throughout the news coverage of the Covid-19 international disaster, civil society organisations have been featured doing all the good things that we expect of them - running soup kitchens, supporting the most vulnerable, providing psychosocial care to victims of violence and so forth.
However, in South Africa, civil society organisations also fulfil a different purpose - keeping a hawk's eye on the work of the state. We don't need to think hard to come up with a long list of examples of civil society organisations' contribution to exposing #StateCapture, calling the state to account for its mismanagement of funds, and putting pressure on the president to act decisively in the fight against gender-based violence.
So how are the president and his government doing on gender-based violence? President Ramaphosa admitted in his latest address to the nation that the tide of femicide and violence against women has not receded....