As the country commemorates Women's Month, Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia de Lille, has unveiled a newly installed gender-based violence (GBV) advocacy artwork at the Manenberg police station in Cape Town.
The unveiling of the second mural artwork on Thursday follows a commitment made by De Lille during the Joint Sitting of the National Assembly on 18 September 2019, where she committed that the department would use State-owned properties to install anti-GBV messaging, as a campaign to show government's solidarity with communities and families who have been affected by the scourge.
The GBV messaging also demonstrates government's efforts in the fight against GBV and femicide (GBVF).
The first anti-GBV billboard was installed in Pretoria, a few meters from the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre in December 2019.
De Lille said that the department aims to expand the campaign to have anti-GBV messaging by government in all provinces.
A Cape Town mural artist, Zola Tsotetsi has just completed artwork on the boundary wall of the Manenberg Police Station.
"This initiative has been supported by the South African Police Service, especially Western Cape Police Commissioner, Yolisa Matakata, who approved the installation of the mural," De Lille said.
The Minister noted that the latest GBV artwork is ideally located on the corners of major thoroughfares (Klipfontein and Duinefontein Roads), where many residents pass by as they commute, but "it is also located near communities which are ravaged by crime".
This year, government commemorates Women's Month under the theme: "Generation Equality: Realising women's rights for an equal future".
De Lille emphasised that men and boys of South Africa are important role players in the mission to ensure that women are respected, protected and treated equally.
"Gender-based violence and femicide is a horrific scourge where our women and children are being attacked and viciously killed. We need men to come forward and speak out, and help us end this scourge.
"As we commemorate Women's Month, we must be reminded that it is all of our duty to work together to protect and cherish our women and children and to take action when we see abuse.
"Often, communities and family members are aware of abuse but are afraid to speak out for fear of tainting the name of the perpetrator or the perpetrator's family members, but we cannot be quiet and not act, the Minister said.
Speaking out potentially saves a life
De Lille believes that speaking out and helping to stop abuse can potentially save a life.
"GBVF needs all our advocacy and action, and we must especially instil the values of gender equality and caring for our women and children in the minds of young boys so that they can grow up to be men who protect and nurture our women and children," De Lille said.
The Minister hopes that the mural and its message, which reads 'Men, violence does not look good on your hands. Violence and abuse are a poison to society. Let's make it stop', will land in the minds of all and propel society to take action to stop this scourge.
The gender-based violence toll-free helplines - 0800 150 150 and 0800 428 428 - have also been included in the mural.
De Lille has encouraged women to use the toll-free numbers if they need any help.
"I encourage women to be brave and stand up for themselves and walk away from abuse. Too many of our mothers and sisters have succumbed to abuse, and it simply must not be tolerated.
"Let us work together as the whole of society to do everything we can to protect women and children, and stop the monsters who abuse and kill our women and children," De Lille said.