Anglo American Platinum says that according to the latest crime statistics, every day in South Africa three children and 10 women are killed, and 160 women are assaulted with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. 

While those same statistics point to an overall decrease in South Africa's GBV figures, with sexual offences decreasing by 35.9% between July and September in 2023, and the murder of women and children decreasing by 10.9% and 7.0% respectively in the same period, the numbers are still unacceptably high, says the company. 

"The GBV pandemic is far from over," says Yvonne Mfolo, executive head of corporate affairs and sustainable impact at Anglo American Platinum.

"Even with the decreased volume of reported incidents, it is crucial to provide quality and reliable support and services to survivors of GBV in South Africa, and globally, so that survivors don't rely on informal social support rather than accessing formal services," Mfolo adds. 

Mfolo says access to formal services is often tricky, given that women's shelters are, to a large extent, oversubscribed and unable to cope with the influx of women and children who require support.  

"That's why we are extending our GBV programme through our long-standing partners at Tshikululu," says Mfolo. "Their keen insight into the needs of communities, and experience in driving the greatest social impact possible will be critical to the ongoing success of this programme and the future wellbeing of our communities."

Anglo American Platinum's GBV Extension Project seeks to extend and deepen the pre-existing work that is active in its operations' host communities in Limpopo and the North West. The project supports 20 GBV facilities, improving their organisational functionality and driving quality services for GBV survivors and vulnerable youth. 

To date, the business has spent R21-million out of its R31-million investment into the GBV programme, with the remainder to be spent in 2023 on infrastructure, according to Anglo American Platinum.  
Capacity development is focussed on:
  • legal literacy
  • GBV programme implementation
  • governance training, and
  • is coupled with ongoing structured mentoring.

All 20 centres have received support to strengthen their governance and administrative processes, including establishing boards and training board members. 

Anglo American Platinum says this enabled the critical success of the Extension Project of ensuring that all the facilities meet, as far as possible, compliance requirements to ensure that they are better positioned to meet standard donor funding requirements, including those of the Department of Social Development.

The programme also seeks to economically empower survivors identified through facilities. To this effect, out of 239 survivors trained in socio-economic development skills, 226 have been referred for various empowerment opportunities, such as:
  • further skills training
  • work placement
  • education, and
  • entrepreneurship.

The company says 186 of the participants were financially assisted in reaching their goals. The aim is to empower GBV survivors and vulnerable youth to move into study, employment or self-employment and become financially independent. 

With the facilities continuing to implement their various prevention and response interventions, 17 750 people have been reached through:
  • door-to-door interventions
  • men and boys' dialogues
  • GBV campaigns, and
  • response efforts such as psychosocial and legal support.

Throughout 2023, 3 082 cases have been opened and the survivors who have opened cases have been provided with GBV-related support services. 

Anglo American Platinum says five facilities will receive infrastructural upgrades that consist of:
  • cosmetic changes
  • procuring and installing geysers and doors, and
  • making accommodation containers available for survivors to live comfortably in.

The upgrades will also include new equipment and furniture.

Dikeledi Mokonyane, who has been the manager at the Mahwelereng Victim Support Centre in Mokopane, Limpopo for the past 19 years, speaks highly of the support Anglo American Platinum has provided to them, including food parcels at the height of Covid-19.

"They also have a suitably kitted-out container structure that will be donated to us to cater to GBV survivors," Mokonyane says.

The company says that the programme is of great value to GBV survivors like Promise Rammutla from Ga-Matlala, who finally found the courage to leave her partner after eight years of being emotionally and physically abused. 

"The pain I experienced made me lose my self-confidence," says Rammutla. "Our relationship was so toxic that I constantly lived in fear. I would panic if he simply got up to get some water. I realised that if I didn't leave him then I might not survive." 

"Gender-based violence and femicide are a national crisis, and they demand a national response," says Tracey Henry, CEO at Tshikululu Social Investments.

"The private sector has a vital role to play in devising programmes that will raise awareness, lead to action and result in behavioural change. But we also know this cannot happen overnight, so it's vital that programmes of this nature are extended and that we don't lose momentum," Henry adds. 

Mfolo concludes, "GBV remains one of the most pressing social ills in our communities. Through this integrated approach, we hope to make significant positive strides towards eradicating it."

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