South Africa is a “sick society caught in moral decline”.
This is according to DA shadow MEC for safety and security Bobby Stevenson who was responding to the high rates of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country.
“We need to acknowledge that it will take more than speeches from politicians and community leaders to fix the broken and dysfunctional society which we live in,” Stevenson said.
“Patriarchy and toxic masculinity alone cannot be blamed alone for the situation. They are symptomatic of the collapse of our institutions and moral values in our society.”
In 2018/19, there were 29,343 reported crimes against women and children in the Eastern Cape, representing an increase of 701 from 2017/18. In the same period, there were 3,070 reported sexual offences reported in relation to children under the age of 17 years, 2,695 rapes and 375 sexual assaults.
Children under the age of six made up 6.4% of all sexual offences reported in the province, children between the ages of seven and 13 made up 16% and children between 14 and 20 made up 25.5%.
Stevenson called for the restoration of trust in the country’s criminal justice system while also ensuring that police were well-equipped with proper training and equipment needed to tackle sexual crimes.
“The truth is that the violence cannot be solved through policing alone. There needs to be a massive cultural shift in South Africa,” he said.
“Education programmes are desperately needed at schools that speak to the rights of individuals, the inherent and irreplaceable value that each person has and instils a culture of respect for one another.”