The Provincial Victim Empowerment Task Team, comprising of various Departments conducted a weeklong 16 Days Awareness program at Breipal Douglas. The VEP Task Team identified Siyacuma as a GBV hotspot in the Pixley Ka-Izaka Seme District and decided to pilot a Youth Based 16 Days of no violence against women and children.
The program kick started on Monday with a Sports Against Crime soccer knock outs and indigenous games at Breipal sports grounds. The competing soccer and netball teams comprised of members of the LGBTIQ+. The focus on the LGBTIQ+ was spurred by the violence meted out on these members in our communities.
TUESDAY: Community Dialogues conducted among the youth with the focus on the role of the youth in GBV as victims and perpetrators. The outcomes of the commissions were that most victims do not report cases as they rely financially on perpetrators due to high levels of unemployment in the area.
WEDNESDAY: A Miss and Mr LGBTIQ+ beauty contest were held at the Breipal Community Centre followed by a musical talent search. The winners of the beauty and contest and Music competition received a medal and a trophy.
THURSDAY: Stakeholder departments presented to the youth services they deliver. Lt Col Seiphetlho of the Provincial Visible Policing unpacked the Youth Crime Prevention Strategy of SAPS and the Youth Against Crime programmes they have at various police stations in the province. He further explained that about 75 police stations have functional Victim Friendly Facilities were Victims of Gender Based Violence are taken care of. Lt Col Seiphetlho encouraged the youth to participate in the Youth Against Crime structures and pleaded with the audience to report cases of GBV wherever they are.
Advocate Mooketsi Molaudi explained their role as the National Prosecutions Authority in GBV cases and reported that heavy sentence are handed out to perpetrators.
FRIDAY: The program was graced by the mayor of Siyacuma Municipality Honourable Wim Van der Berg who delivered a keynote address on behalf of the MEC of Safely and Liaison Ms Bloem. The mayor committed as a response to the concerns of the youth to renovate all Sport grounds in Douglas and pleaded with the youth not to vandalise these facilities. He promised to look into the idea of a Youth Multipurpose Centre in Douglas, but warned that it is not an overnight thing as there are other competing needs.
Capt Kale of SAPS Men for Change delivered a message of support as a VEP Task Team member. Capt Kale explained that the Program in Siyacuma is a pilot program that will be cascaded to other Districts in the province. Kale said the VEP team was impressed by the level of participation by the youth especially the response by the LGBTIQ+ during commissions.
Mayor Van Der Berg presented the winners of the Sporting codes, Music competition and beauty contest with medal and Trophies. The trophies and medals were donated by the Department of Safety and Liaison while the Department of Social Development sponsored the entire program. In her closing remarks Ms Portia Qondane who is the VEP Manager at Social Development said she was impressed by the outcomes of the programme and thanked Douglas SAPS for the support received. “The success of this program proved once again that the monies invested by the Department of Social Development in organising and piloting this project was not in vain. Big ups to Sgt Baartman and Cst Williams in mobilising the youth in Douglas. Thank you so much colleagues for proving to us the essence of integration.
Source: South African Police Service