CAPE TOWN–The South African Parliament has called on the government and stakeholders to improve their co-ordination in dealing with sexual assault.

The scourge of sexual assault on children was also before the committee at today’s meeting. Some of the Chapter 9 institutions attending the meeting suggested that poor co-ordination is failing these vulnerable groups, said the Parliamentary Committee on Social Development in a statement on Wednesday.

The committee was briefed by the Department of Social Development, the South African Human Rights Commission and the Commission for Gender Equality on the interventions being taken to deal with the escalating statistics of rape and kidnapping of children.

The committee resolved to ask the Minister of Social Development to take up the matter with the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Leader of Government Business in Parliament. This serious social challenge requires a response from government, particularly from within the Department of Social Development, which should champion this response, said the committee.

Parliament’s call comes as Government gears up to hold the #100MenMarch in response to the rise of violence against women and children on Tuesday, 10 July. The march comes in the wake of the rise of femicide in South Africa, with Statistics South Africa reporting that the murder rate for women increased drastically by 117 per cent between 2015 and 2016/17.

The march organizers call on men to join the #100MenMarch and boldly declare that violence against women and children will not be tolerated in their respective environment or communities.

The committee also sent sincere condolences to all families whose loved ones passed away as a result of a sexual assault. The committee appealed to government, faith-based organisations, traditional leaders and community organizations to join hands against this scourge that is plaguing our society, said the committee.