Minister Fernandez attends launch of Philisa Abafazi Bethu Family Centre | Western Cape Government



Minister Fernandez attends launch of Philisa Abafazi Bethu Family Centre

25 November 2020

Today, Wednesday, 25 November 2020, the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, attended the official launch and opening of the Philisa Abafazi Bethu Family Centre in Retreat.

The Philisa Abafazi Bethu Family Centre based in Retreat has recently undergone renovations to support victims of violence and abuse in the surrounding communities and also marks the start of the 16 Days Of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

The refurbished multi-purpose centre will house; a safe-house, administration offices, meeting rooms, a multi-purpose hall for community activities such as seniors’ gym and dance classes, a school aftercare centre, as well as neighbourhood watch and emergency rooms.

The provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) funds the Philisa Abafazi Family Centre  to subsidise the housemother, security, and upgrades amongst others.

In light of the centre’s refurbishment and against the backdrop of the start of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, Minister Fernandez noted the following, “ I would like to commend these organisations for their ongoing commitment working to empower women and children across our communities.

I also wish to thank the many men and women who work tirelessly with these organisations in their campaigns and efforts against violence towards our vulnerable citizens.”

Minister Fernandez added: “If we are to be successful in addressing the ongoing injustices against our women and children, we need to start at our homes and our communities - for if a woman and child cannot be safe in their own homes or communities, then how can we expect them to feel safe anywhere.”

Minister Fernandez continued, “We have proven time and time again as a nation, that we can work together to achieve a common goal. I call on all members of society to join us in fighting the ongoing scourge of violence being experienced by our beloved women and children.”

The total budget for Victim Empowerment Services for this financial year is R65m.  The Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) aims to support victims and survivors of crime and violence, including Gender Based Violence as well as their families, to deal with the impact of the incident, which he/she has experienced.

“ By working together, we can have one united voice against gender-based violence, 365 days of the year, concluded,” Minister Fernandez.

Where to go for help?

Any person can phone the following organisations to report women and child abuse:

Report any abuse of children and women to the Department of Social Development on 0800 220 250.

Gender-Based Violence Command Centre: 0800 428 428

LifeLine 24-hour crisis helpline: 021 461 1111

Find out more about our safety services for women and children by sending an SMS with the word INFO to 35 395.

Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust counselling lines:

If you’re a witness and are afraid for your safety for reasons linked to being a witness, you can apply for witness protection.

Contact the Witness Protection Unit at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) at 012 845 6000

For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department’s Website below:

Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 083 661 4949