In the past week, South Africa has experienced what can arguably be described as one of the country’s darkest moments since the end of the apartheid era. With recent incidents of gender-based violence, particularly that of Uyinene Mrtwetyana , a 19-year-old student who was sexually assaulted and killed while collecting her mail at the Post Office. At the same time, the recent spike in xenophobic attacks resulted in destruction of African foreign-owned businesses in two major cities, which left five people killed, thus far. Reciprocal attacks have emerged against South African owned businesses in countries such as Nigeria, D.R.C and Zambia.
ONE in Africa Executive Director Rudo Kwaramba-Kayombo reacted saying: “GBV should not have a place in our communities. ONE in Senegal launched a campaign demanding the government to classify GBV as a major crime, in the same breathe we call on the South African government to take greater steps to protect all women and girls. Failure to address GBV will have significant implications for the future, as studies have shown that children growing up with violence are more likely to become survivors themselves or perpetrators of violence in the future. In the face of renewed violence against women, it is time for government to act for decisively to protect women and girls”
“Africans need not turn on each other; on the contrary, we need to work together in a bid to make Africa a global player. The Africa Free Trade Agreement is an example of Africans working together and this can be beneficial, as it will potentially increase regional trade by about 16 per cent over time. However, this gain can only be made if our leaders put the right policies to create jobs for Africa’s youth. Our leaders must make the bold investment as the continent’s population is set to double by 2050. This investment towards youth will ensure we yield a demographic dividend and avoid a demographic disaster.”