The government is forging ahead with its plans to eradicate Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country’s post-school education institutions.
Under the Policy Framework to Address GBV in the Post-school Education and Training System (PSET), which came out for public comment this week, government aims to conceptualise GBV and define its manifestation in terms of existing laws and policies.
The framework details the international and national regulatory framework for institutional and departmental responses to GBV. It provides guidance around the structures, mechanisms and processes that institutions must put in place to address GBV.
This will be done by mandating institutions to develop a comprehensive, overarching policy to address GBV, which includes harassment and discrimination more broadly, staff grievance and disciplinary proceedings, as well as student and staff codes of conduct aligned and integrated within the total policy environment of the institution.
They will have to put support and assistance mechanisms in place that can immediately offer support to victims of GBV in institutions, as well as establishing effective reporting, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
Furthermore, they will also institute a charter on ethics that will be signed by all staff and student leadership in institutions. The charter should clearly specify ethical conduct that pertains to the eradication of sexual harassment and GBV.
The latest statistics of the World Health Organisation reflect that 35% of women worldwide experienced either physical or sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) or non-partner sexual violence.
In South Africa, the problem is even more severe. According to the South African Police Service (SAPS) Crime Statistics report of 2018, a total of 50 108 cases of sexual offenses were reported in 2017/8 – a 0.9% increase from the previous year. Femicide increased by 11% over the last two years.
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), in the Crime against Women in South Africa (2018) report, estimates that 138 per 100 000 women were raped in 2016/17, the highest rate in the world.
GBV has also been linked to other societal problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, abuse of people with disabilities, safety of students and staff on campuses and in student residences, and mental health problems such as depression on the part of victims and their families.
These social problems have plagued the post schooling institutions, with more cases of rape and murder of women students being reported.
Most of these crimes against women were perpetrated by men who were well known to the victims, such as partners, former partners or fellow students.
Despite this, crimes affecting women remain underreported, resulting in students protesting against unsafe environments and demanding gender transformation in institutions.
These protests have negatively affected the academic calendar of institutions and in some instances, interfered with their academic progress.
With this in mind, the Policy Framework’s goals are to put supportive, efficient and reparative assistance procedures to complainants/victims in place.
This includes plans to establish just and specialised procedures for the reporting, investigation and resolution of complaints; and provide comprehensive, specialised support and other assistance to victims and where possible, perpetrators of GBV.
Government, for its part, will conceptualise and run a national GBV campaign at post-schooling institutions, and standardise institutional mechanisms tasked with dealing with sexual violence.
Government is also investigating the possibility of publishing a register of offenders that will be used in the recruitment of council members, staff and support personnel, as well as investigate a ‘whistle-blowing’ mechanism to report GBV in institutions.
The implementation date will be stated in the Government Gazette.
Schools shutdown following rise in Covid-19 cases
Institutions around South Africa had to shutdown due to rise in Coronavirus cases. This also comes after a Univeristy of Wits students tested positive for the virus.
We saw the vice-chancellor of the University of Johannesburg’s Vice-Chancellor Tshilidzi Marwala shutdown all classes as well as graduation ceremonies at the univeristy.
The University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the University of Cape Town has also joined the universities closing down amid the Coronavirus outbreak in South Africa.
“The UKZN academic programme is suspended (including tests) with immediate effect until further notice pending further engagements on a sector-wide approach regarding contact classes,” says the university.
Celebrating those who are at the forefront of tourism
Day 2 of the “2020 INTERNATIONAL TOURIST GUIDE DAY” celebrations were to acknowledge guides and their achievements.
Twenty Tourist guides from Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng receiving their Mandarin language training certificates.
“The Department of Tourism has over the last 3 years trained 110 new entrants and up-skilled more than 140 existing guides in a number of areas,” said National Registrar of Tourist Guides, Morongoe Ramphele.
The focus on day two was on sharing tourist guides’ success story, tourism safety and handover of certificates to the Mandarin language learners.
Language barriers, one of the issues which the tourism industry guides experience daily. The initiated programme was implemented to mend these issues.
“The numbers of registered tourist guides has grown steadily over the years with now more than 13 000 tourist guides registered on the database.” National Registrar of Tourist Guides, Morongoe Ramphele.
“Your role as the main link between the visitor and destination, can be the most valuable part of the whole marketing mix of the destination,” said Constitution Hill CEO, Dawn Robertson.
Day 2 ended with a tour around constitution hill to educate guides and those attending the event about the events which shaped South Africa’s implemantation of human rights laws.
Working towards a sustainable tourism economy and jobs
Today, marked day 1 of the ” International Tourist Guides’ Day” (ITG) celebrations at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg – Gauteng.
The Department of Tourism together with with the Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) joined tourist guides from all over South Africa to discuss ways to create sustainable tourism economies and jobs.
Tourist guides from all over the country shared their experiences, highlighting areas which have been hindering guiding experiences, with some posing a threat to their jobs.
The tourism industry contributes significantly towards economic growth and ensuring sustainability within this sector is always key.
Guides have been put at the forefront of tourism, they have become the face of tourism, leading us through the country’s sites and more importantly have become educators of South Africa’s attractions.
Some of the issues put forward by guides were:
- Training needed to penetrate within local communities
- One of the biggest issues is that theres no training of guides as there is a lot youth looking to also join the industry.
- Resolve the issue of local communities feeling sidelined when coming to Township tourism
- Safety of tourists guides at the brink of Corona virus outbreak
- What measures are set in place to ensure the guides are protected/ safe ( Corona virus)
- The impact of taxi industry on guides
- Language challenges as guides are exposed to people fromall over the globe
The government has been tasked with looking into :
- making partnerships with private sector to grow tourism, and this can be achieved through offering training.
- Tourist guides health insurance
- Guides protection
- Guides receiving staples (salaries)
With all the issues put forward, Morongoe Ramphele, National Registrar
of Tourist Guides admitted that to move forward government has to ensure that it pays more attention and effort towards such gatherings and monitoring and evaluating these processes.
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