Note to Editors: This statement follows an oversight inspection by the DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango MP, and the DA Member of the NCOP on Social Development, Thandi Mpambo-Sibukwana MP, to the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Please find attached a soundbite by Ms Masango in IsiZulu and English. Pictures can be found here, here and here.
Today the DA conducted an oversight inspection at the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. The Centre, in conjunction with the Western Cape Provincial Department of Social Development, have done great work in providing a safe haven for abused and vulnerable women and children.
The DA met with the Facility Manager, Pauline Perez, who spoke to us about the Centre’s work with regards to the services they offer to victims of human trafficking.
When the Centre started they primarily focussed on children and women who have been sexually abused. They now have 21 beds for women who are victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. The shelter assists with counselling and psychological services, provide skills training and make sure victims go for doctors’ appointments.
It is well established that South Africa has become a source and destination of human trafficking, where innocent and vulnerable people have been exploited and forced into domestic slavery, farm labour and sexual exploitation. Domestic trafficking is also a serious issue that sees people removed from the homes, brought to urban areas and exploited.
Most of the trafficked women at the centre are from South Africa and have been exploited within our borders. Ms Perez confirmed that human trafficking was becoming particularly prevalent in the Western Cape and that the numbers of incidents seem to be growing exponentially. Most of the time, the victims of these crimes are women and children. The shelter is also housing one woman from Nigeria who has been at the shelter for three years due to an ongoing court case.
The centre works in partnership with organisations across the globe to ensure that victims from other countries have support once they return home. As for South African women who have been trafficked, the challenge is to ensure that they have skills and gain economic independence.
The lack of adequate policing and resources allocated to securing our borders have further exacerbated the scourge of human trafficking in our country. This is indicative of a government that does not care about the wellbeing of marginalised and vulnerable groups.
The ANC has time and again proven that they are not serious about combatting gender-based violence and exploitation. In fact, the ruling party has a proven track record of protecting women abusers instead of the victims of abuse. The ANC continues to harbour known woman abusers in its ranks, such as the disgraced Mduduzi Manana.
Where the DA governs, we are committed to supporting organisations such as the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre, which are committed to providing protection for victims of sexual abuse and empowering victims.