PHALABORWA– Ba- Phalaborwa Municipality Mayor, Cllr Merriam Malatji has led a mayoral walk against gender-based violence and femicide at Namakgale on Wednesday.
Addressing the residents and stakeholders who participated in the march, the mayor Malatji called on men to stand up against gender-based violence and child abuse.
She says violence against women and children is the ugly headed monster and today’s walk is about coming against such incidences. “We want to say enough is enough. We can put a stop to this. We will put a stop to this if we act together” she said.
Phalaborwa has had some very disturbing incidences of GBV over the last three years.
The mayor further stated that: “This says to us, our justice systems need to be strengthened to send a very strong message to perpetrators. It also says to us, our support structures need to be on point. The likes of VEP, Social Development and support groups, need to be available to show victims that they are not alone and that they should come forward and expose the abusers”.
She appealed to residents to respect the rights of women and children as we are approaching the festive season. “A time to be together and celebrate, also a time when alcohol and drug abuse are at their highest. We want to appeal to our community members to please enjoy responsibly, let us respect the rights of our women and children. It is in our hands to make a change” she explained.
She added that “some of you see the violations but you keep quiet. That makes you equally responsible. Your silence is your consent. Let us speak out against these acts. It cannot be that women and children are violated in your time, in your space but you say nothing, we do nothing! Many women find themselves at the mercy of breadwinner partners at the expense of their children please don’t sacrifice your children or yourself because of that. Ask for help. We are here to assist you!”.
“As women, let us also be more responsible in the decisions we make. Sometimes it is us who expose our children to these abusers. We can and should do better“.
The Mayor has also appreciated the main sponsor of the event, BORA Mining Services for supporting this initiative. “Your presence makes a difference in the lives of the community of Ba-Phalaborwa. Our gratitude knows no bounds”, she concluded.
Speaking on behalf of Bora mining services, the public relations officer, Tsakani Mathebula.