National Council on Gender-Based Violence Bill sent to NCOP
06 Nov 2023
The national assembly has given the green light to the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill and sent it to the national council of provinces for concurrence.
The bill was tabled in parliament at the end of November 2022.
The department of women, youth and persons with disabilities published the bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 46991 at the end of September 2022.
According to the explanatory summary, the bill seeks to set up a “multi sectoral, independent and non–partisan statutory body, which acts through its Board and is responsible for providing strategic leadership on the elimination of gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa”.
The envisaged structure will be known as the National Council on Gender Based Violence and Femicide.
It is designed to facilitate a co-ordinated, multi-sectoral approach between relevant stakeholders for the prevention and elimination of, and response to, gender-based violence and femicide.
The bill aims to:
- establish the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide;
- provide for the objects and functions of the Council;
- appoint the Board of the Council;
- provide for the appointment of members of the Board;
- provide for the term of office of members of the Board;
- provide for the termination of membership of the Board;
- provide for meetings of the Board;
- provide for the establishment of committees of the Board;
- provide for the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer and the Secretariat Unit of the Council;
- provide for the establishment of norms and standards for the provincial and local working groups;
- provide for the making of regulations; and
- provide for matters connected therewith.
In an earlier statement, the department pointed out that the proposed legislation is a “major step forward in driving a multi-sectoral, coherent strategic policy and programming framework to ensure a coordinated national response to the crisis of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide by the government of South Africa and the country as a whole”.
The department added that the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, once established, will be the “custodian of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF (GBVF-NSP) and will be responsible for driving its implementation”.
According to the bill’s memorandum, it emanates from the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide produced by the Interim Steering Committee set up in April 2019 to respond to gender-based violence and femicide.
The portfolio committee on women, youth and persons adopted the bill with amendments including a new definition on “national strategy on gender-based violence and femicide”; a new clause 5 on Functions of Council; a new clause 6 on Board of Council; and a new clause 12 on Removal from Office.
The select committee on health and social services will process the bill.
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