The current wave of abuse, including murder, against women and children has a direct link to the apartheid system which was fundamentally violent, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Tuesday.
“In recent weeks and days, the scourge of women and child abuse has come to the fore. These are some of the social ills that continuously affect our society,” Mthethwa addressed Parliament while presenting his departmental budget vote speech.
“This violence has a long history. Our country was taken by force and it was ruled by force for more than 350 years. Violence is part of the South African DNA and this need to be combated.”
Earlier, Mthethwa said the South African government is deeply concerned over the incidents of racism which are often witnessed in different parts of the nation. “In recent times, racism has continued to come to the fore at times and rear its ugly head.
Legislation is being tightened and progress made so far in terms of the mooted Prevention and the Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill,” he said. “Once accented into law, this Act will criminalise all forms of bigoted crimes and speech.”
He said government is currently leading community conversations on the emotive subject, and the country seeks solutions to the scourge of intolerance.
“We have had 33 community conversations across all nine provinces in a big to address the scourge of racism and other social ills facing society. Work is continuing apace to conclude these sectoral conversations with the view of crafting and adopting a common compact to unify our people, and strengthen the mental frameworks for complete emancipation,” said Mthethwa.
“Through our community conversations, we also continue to address racism, language, heritage, patriotism, inequality, unemployment and poverty. The department has presented a report from the 2016 community conversations to various government departments so that they can action some of the recommendations proposed.”
He said several community conversations were held to respond to the violent protests in Limpopo that swept through Vhuwani and the surrounding villages in Makhadho and Thulamela municipalities.
“These protests saw the burning and vandalism of over 20 million schools. The social cohesion advocates have carried out comprehensive social cohesion community dialogues so far to foster peace, unity and social cohesion in this area,” said Mthethwa.