Government wishes to thank the organisers and all the women who participated in today’s peaceful TotalShutdown Intersectional March from the Pretoria city centre to the Southern Lawns in the Union Building.
As part of the March the organisers applied to the Presidency to present the Petition at the Union Building Southern Lawns. The permission was granted and the President delegated the Director-General in the Presidency, Dr Cassius Lubisi and the Minister of Higher Education and Training Naledi Pandor to receive the petition due to the President being out of town. The organisers refused to hand over the petition and opted to wait for the President to return and receive the petition .
The President has since arrived to receive the petition from the organisers. He has assured them that government will go through it and address each and every issue that is raised.
As government we wish to reiterate our full support to all the initiatives that seek to highlight the violence against women and children. We continue as government to work hard to fight to stop the scourge of violence within our society and importantly setting up structures that assist women in distress.
Recently we have approved the amendment of the Criminal Procedure Act of 2017 to enable women to still be able to report any sexual violation even after twenty years. Through the Department of Social Development, we continue to work with a number of NGO’s in supporting the victims of violence and funding the Thuthuzela Centres to assist women in distress. Our Justice system continues to work hard in ensuring the perpetrators face the full might of law.
The Total shutdown March builds on another “100Men March” that raised the awareness of gender based violence and made a call on all peace-loving men to play their part in stopping violence within their communities.
Today’s march takes place against the backdrop of the commemoration of Women’s Month with women’s rights on the agenda. The spirit of the 1956 women who fought against oppressive laws of apartheid inspires the women of today who face challenges such as gender-based violence and economic emancipation to rise and lend and hand in the fight against the abuse of women and children.
Government will continue to fully support the role played by all sectors of society, especially those who have demonstrated their commitment through visible actions, including today’s march. Government will continue to work with all communities that seek to make South Africa safe for women and children.
Issued by Government Communication and Information System