The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development briefed Parliament on February 12 on the steps taken toward Outcome 3: that all South Africans feel safe.
The steps taken included:
- Putting in place various structures, including: the JCPS Domestic Violence Task Team; the Inter-Sectoral Committee on Sexual Offences; the Joint Task Team on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Intervention Strategy; the Independent Management Team on Sexual Offences; and the Victim Empowerment Management Forum.
- The establishment of victim support centres, including 900 victim-friendly rooms at SAPS service points, 52 Thuthuzela Centres, 385 Magistrates’ Courts that serve as domestic violence courts, 60 shelters for victims of domestic violence, 42 places of safety as well as 254 homes for children in need of care and protection, 224 child witness testifying rooms, and 324 CCTV-fitted court rooms.
- Legal Aid provides toll-free legal advice to indigent persons in civil matters, including domestic violence cases, children and LGBTI persons in equality courts.
A notable success has been the establishment of governance structures providing coordinated responses.
Challenges include a lack of a coordinated implementation strategy and a lack of monitoring mechanisms. However, an integrated Domestic Violence strategy is being developed by the Domestic Violence Task Team. The Department has also developed a monitoring framework and structures, including the JCPS DV Task Team, the Victim Empowerment Management Forum and the GBV Council.
Other initiatives in development include the drafting of a Domestic Violence Prevention Strategy and updated regulations to the Domestic Violence Act to secure minimum standards of service across all areas of implementation.