The Minister of the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, wishes to inform the media and the public that the Draft Law of the National Council on Gender Violence and Femicide, 2022 (“ the Bill”) was published today, September 30, 2022.
The purpose of the publication is to inform the public that the Minister intends to introduce the Bill in Parliament in terms of section 73 of the Constitution.
The publication of this bill is a major step forward in driving a coherent, multi-sectoral strategic policy and programmatic framework to ensure a coordinated national response to the crisis of gender-based violence and femicide by the South African government and the country as a country.
Implementation of the NSP on GBVF is currently being driven by the End GBVF Collective: a volunteer-based collective from government, civil society, development partners, entrepreneurs who have come together under the pillars of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF to respond to a stubborn pandemic that continues to affect the lives of women and girls on a daily basis.
The process of developing this legislation is in line with the declaration of the Presidential Summit against Gender Violence and Femicide (GBVF), held on November 1 and 2, 2018, and the PEN on Gender Violence and Femicide.
The government has worked on the drafting of this bill in consultation with multiple stakeholders in line with the Public Policy Development and Subordinate Legislation guidelines.
In June and September 2020, the department held public consultation webinars to: Share the status quo regarding the establishment of the NCGBVF; Share the government’s thinking on the NCGBVF Terms of Reference (ToR), legislative framework, and government representation in the NCGBVF; Provide space for civil society to share ideas on the NCGBVF’s terms of reference, the legislative framework, and all other matters related to the NCGBVF.
In September 2020, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane also met with Business Associations to discuss the process of creating the National Council on Gender Violence and Femicide.
The webinar solicited input on the draft Terms of Reference and selection criteria for members to serve on the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, as well as other measures to accelerate the implementation of the National Strategic Plan. In October 2020, the department held a roundtable to participate in the realization of the NSP results on GBVF.
This round table focused on the Terms of Reference for the establishment of the NCGBVF.
In October 2021, the department published the bill in the government bulletin to solicit public input and comment.
Additionally, in November and December 2021, provincial consultations were held to solicit input on the bill.
The bill has been supported by the National Economic Development and Labor Council (NEDLAC).
The bill was certified as constitutionally sound by the State’s Office of Chief Legal Counsel and met all legal drafting requirements.
Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, in her capacity as President of the Interministerial Committee on Gender Violence and Femicide, welcomed this step and said that the “National Strategic Plan provides for a National Council on Gender Violence and Femicide based on a multi-sector.” Once established and operational, the Council will work with key government departments, civil society organizations and the private sector.
This will contribute to building continuous accountability at the national, provincial and local levels for an urgent, comprehensive and inclusive response to gender-based violence and femicide.
The Director General of the Department for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Attorney Mikateko Joyce Maluleke, welcomed the publication of this bill as a critical step in achieving the goals set out in the NSP on GBVF.
“Back in 1998, the South African government enacted the Domestic Violence Act, which covered a wide range of abuse, from physical and sexual, economic and psychological, as well as stalking, property damage, etc.
More recently, I would have heard about the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development making amendments to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offenses and Related Matters) Amendment Bill (NRSO), the Domestic Violence Bill, and the Criminal Matters.
The Department of Social Development also opened the Victim Support Services Bill for public comment.
Among its scope, this bill also proposes to make it a legal requirement that all service providers treat victims of abuse in a professional manner, ensuring that the dignity of the victim is preserved at all times during the process.
These bills strengthen the legal environment that provides justice for GBVF survivors,” said DG Maluleke.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane wishes to thank the many stakeholders who worked on the drafting of this bill, made contributions and worked with the department to reach this milestone.
The National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide can be found here: https://www.dwypd.gov.za/index.php/resource-centre/gender-based-violence-femicide The National Council on Gender-Based El Violence and Femicide Bill (NCGBVF) can be found here: https://www.dwypd.gov.za/index.php/resource-centre/gender-based-violence...