February 20, 2018
Press release: 2018 Budget Speech to proactively address drivers of violence
The 2018 budget speech should reflect government’s political will to address violence prevention and redress for victims living in post-apartheid South Africa, says the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR).
CSVR joins the country in congratulating President Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president of South Africa and commends South Africans for their smooth and non-violent change of political power. “We are encouraged by the optimism that the change in political power has brought to South Africa” states Nomfundo Mogapi, Executive Director of CSVR. “However, as CSVR, we are concerned that the focus on corruption may sideline other pressing concerns which fuel interpersonal and political violence.
As the country prepares to hear the 2018 budget speech, CSVR calls on government not to shy away from addressing uncomfortable tensions and legacies that persist despite the freedom gained in 1994. These include:
- How government plans to curb violence against women through a concrete national plan and adequate budget allocation
- Government’s plan for free tertiary education, the steps to make this a reality, and how these solutions will be communicated
- A more comprehensive compensation plan for Life Esidimeni victims and families, as well as other accountability, monitoring and oversight measures to protect vulnerable groups under state care
- The current water crisis – The failure to efficiently address the crisis could result in public health emergencies and violent demonstrations in various provinces, and
- Redress for victims of the Marikana Massacre - It is time for government to show a commitment not only in compensations for the families of the victims of the Marikana Massacre, but also in long term programmes for healing. CSVR’s work in disadvantaged communities has found government to be eager to act in the short term, but that it fails to carry through with sustained support or engage with root causes of violence.
Violence has regrettably come to be regarded as an effective means of resolving social, political and even domestic conflict. Clear strategies by government with appropriate, focused budget will help to ensure that the South African people feel heard, which is critical in reducing violence in our communities.
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