Chairperson, the African National Congress welcomes the recent appointment of a task team of Ministers that will work with civil society to deal with gender- based violence. The President of South Africa and his Cabinet took this decision amid a countrywide outcry over unacceptably high levels of gender-based violence and femicide. The high rate of violence against women and children remains a grave concern, not just for the government, but its citizens as well.
We call on our criminal justice system to be ruthless and firm in dealing with perpetrators of women and child abuse. As the ANC, we share the President's grief and turmoil about the high rate of gender-based violence taking place in our country. We also welcome the commitment in his address to the nation recently to ensure that the criminal justice system metes out harsher sentences against perpetrators of violence against women and children. I thank you.