The Urban Safety Reference Group (USRG) recently hosted a Gender Mainstreaming and GBV Prevention workshop which brought together city officials from 7 South African metropolitan cities and their counterparts from the ENDGBV Unit within the New York City Mayor’s Office, an intervention whose mandate is to end domestic and Gender-Based Violence in the city.
Municipal safety officials from across South Africa have successfully completed the accredited municipal training programme on community safety planning.
The pilot programme is an initiative of the South African Local Government Association, supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through the Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention (VCP) programme.
The training – which is accredited by the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA) - provides provincial and municipal officials, and municipal councillors, with the skills and knowledge to develop and implement integrated community safety plans, drawing on evidence-informed violence prevention measures. Participants get practical guidance on how to perform and coordinate participatory safety planning processes that align with key policy instruments such as the Integrated Crime and Violence Prevention Strategy (ICVPS), the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) and National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NSP GBVF).
Local Civil Society Organisations are partnering with the Department of Basic Education - through provincial education departments - to jointly implement a school-based violence and gender-based violence intervention which has the potential of creating a network of young people driving change within their communities.
Murder is up, police morale is down, and reform is imperative. But precisely what is broken in the South African Police Service (SAPS), and how will we know when it’s improving?
Without defining the problem, well-intentioned activities risk missing their mark. Progress in crime and policing requires data, partnerships and leaders willing to focus attention on when, where and around whom harm is greatest. Crime and policing in South Africa are in a dire state, but the SAPS’ willingness to share some information with the public gives a faint silver lining to an otherwise dark cloud.
South Africa has a long history of violence. The 2018 Global Peace Index listed South Africa as one of the most violent and dangerous places on earth, and getting worse.
Such a culture of violence is hard to stop, especially when it has become a legitimised and institutionalised form of coercion.
South Africa has notoriously high levels of violence against women. The latest police figures show that 10,818 rape cases were reported in the first quarter of 2022. The country has among the highest rape incidence in the world.
How can gender-based violence in the country be reduced?
There have been suggestions that the current disorder is akin to a rebellion of the poor brought about by acute food insecurity. Research findings on looting, nonetheless, suggest that such phenomena are rarely caused by one thing. Rather, it’s often the outcome of various factors.
In a series of webinars on the 7th and 8th of June, we drew from the existing evidence, experience and expertise of the civil society, academia and government sector in the prevention of violence and discussed how this could be utilised for the evidence-based implementation of the most relevant South African safety policy frameworks.
This blog shares findings of the Knowledge Exchange along with discussions and resources shared during the webinar: Healing from Sexual Violence: Body-focused mental health approaches.