Gender violence researcher raises questions around Ramaphosa’s GBV plan

Gender violence researcher at the University of Johannesburg, Lisa Vetten, said that the plan was just the latest in a succession of plans.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – A well known gender-based violence specialist has poked holes in the president’s hot spot approach to the problem.

On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a fresh plan that identified 30 hotspots for gender-based violence that would get special attention.

“Based on the latest data, we have identified 30 hot spots around the country where the problem is most rife,” the president said in his address to the nation.

The plan is meant to harness resources from the police, Justice Department and Social Services Department for an integrated intervention.

But hours after the speech, the Police Ministry still had no idea what the identified areas were.

Gender violence researcher at the University of Johannesburg, Lisa Vetten, said that the plan was just the latest in a succession of plans.

“What have they learned that they will need to do differently this time around? To what extent they’ve thought about multi-faceted comprehensive solutions that bring in a range of different bodies to try and address this.”

Vetten said that it was important to understand how the hot spot areas had been identified.

“So if this is a hot spot identified through police statistics, how are they thinking about questions of under-reporting and what are the kinds of policing strategies or other that the police are going to be thinking about?”

She also added that while the hot spot policing had the best of intentions, at the same time it also stigmatised people who lived in these communities.

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