Statement by Minister Dan Plato - 16 Days of Activism | Western Cape Government

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Statement by Minister Dan Plato - 16 Days of Activism

27 November 2017

Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety


‘Speak Out – be the voice of courage’ this #16DaysofActivism


Date: 25 November 2017

Release: Immediate


[Note to editors: This extract is based on the speech delivered by Minister Dan Plato at the launch of the Western Cape Government Department of Community Safety’s 16 Days of Activism campaign. Scroll down for the full schedule of events or access the dedicated webpage here or the calendar directly here]


For the next 16 Days, the Department of Community Safety is teaming up with safety role-players to take a stand against violence and abuse of women and children.


We are here launching our 16 Days of Activism campaign in Marikana today to ask you to take a stand with us, to join our call to action: “SPEAK OUT – BE THE VOICE OF COURAGE”.


I want to thank all the various government departments, NGOs, safety partners and community members working tirelessly all year round to assist those who are faced with abuse and violence.


I thank each and every victim who has had the courage to speak out about their abuse, seek help and to help others who are faced with similar abuse.


Marikana has been rocked this year by violence and death. This is evident in the amount of children involved in criminality, and the luring of young people into a life of drugs and gangsterism. Our youth are being abused not only physically, but socially to the point where they become gun-wielding killers.


We cannot accept the normality of women and young girls being raped, killed and their bodies dumped. It is a major problem that, in most cases, those responsible for the heinous crimes and abuse are male and known to the victim.


Some 39% of women have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime according to the Western Cape Gender Based Violence Indicators.


Most of this violence takes place in their homes and communities – which are the places where all citizens should feel safest.


More than 56% of all murders of women are perpetrated by intimate partners - making intimate femicide the leading cause of death for women.


Everyone deserves to feel safe – from abuse, violence and crime.

Everyone deserves to get the best out of life – opportunities, development and success.


Each one of us has a duty to play in putting an end to domestic violence and abuse towards women and children. If you:

  • Are guilty of abuse and violence, seek help and stop the abuse.
  • Are a victim of abuse and violence, speak out, be the voice of courage and find help.
  • Know of someone who is being abused – it is your duty to report, to speak out on their behalf, to assist the abused – to help stop the cycle of abuse.


Government and safety partners are here today to extend a helping hand. You are not alone. We are united in our aim of eliminating violence and abuse against women and children.


We have to break the silence: SPEAK OUT – BE THE VOICE OF COURAGE!


We also need to be honest about the violence in our communities. We need to SPEAK OUT about whom and what is the cause for violence in our homes and in our communities:

  • 67% of all family violence in communities can be attributed to the abuse of alcohol.
  • 70% of crimes in communities can be attributed to the addiction to substances, drugs and alcohol.


Not only does excessive alcohol use and abuse have very serious medical implications for users and their unborn babies, it is also among the primary drivers behind many violent crimes, fatalities on our roads, as well as domestic violence and abuse.


The Department of Community Safety has been mandated by Cabinet to take the lead in the Alcohol Harms Reduction (AHR) Game Changer, which will see interventions based at both community level and policy level.


The aim is to reduce violent injuries and fatalities caused by alcohol in targeted areas, through partnerships and a whole-of-society approach. We cannot do this without the cooperation and support of our communities.


We need to prevent our youth from becoming involved in negative social behaviours such as gangsterism, drugs and alcohol. We need to create the opportunities for our youth through education, jobs and social programmes to keep them safe.


That is why my Department invests heavily in youth focussed safety outreaches. We will continue with the opportunities available at our Chrysalis Academy, as well as the existing opportunities for bursaries towards studying at Northlink College.


The Youth Safety and Religious Partnership is a flagship programme of the Department of Community Safety, where we partner with our religious fraternity in communities to provide alternative and safe recreational, educational and skills development during school holidays, when youth are most at risk. We are continuously looking at ways to expand this programme and are prioritising some of the areas worst affected by crime, gang and drug related problems.


We will continue to look at innovative ideas, targeted interventions and sustainable partnerships to help improve safety in our communities.


One such idea is the launching of Walking Busses to assist with learner safety to and from school on a daily basis. We have launched more than 60 Walking Busses to date in efforts to help protect our young learners.


Government, however, is not the only role player. The role of parents cannot be underestimated.


We need to SPEAK OUT as parents. Parents need to raise the alarm and intervene when they start suspecting that their children might be getting involved in gang related activities or drugs.


Parents need to talk to one another and set the correct example for their children.


This also includes teaching the boys and the men in our society to not rape, to not abuse and to not think women owe them anything in this world.


This year, we are taking our awareness campaign to the hearts of communities. If anyone suspects abuse, report it immediately to SAPS on 10111 (24 hour service), Stop Gender Violence Helpline on 0800 150 150, Childline on 080 055 555 or contact the Western Cape Government Contact Centre on 0800 220 250 to be connected to the Department of Social Development.


For support and more information visit


Full schedule of events

Department of Community Safety’s 16 Days of Activism Campaign 2017







25 Nov 2017

Opening Event:


12:00 – 14:30

Open space at the end of De Pouch Park Informal Settlement, Symphony Road, Marikana.


27 Nov 2017


Kraaifontein – Scottsville

17:00 - 19:00

Open space between Aandblom, Dahlia and Cosmos Streets, in front of the Eikefontein Railway Station.


2 Dec 2017



17:00 - 19:00

Open space on the corner of Thames Avenue and Sabie Road.


4 Dec 2017

Ocean View

17:00 - 19:00

Open space right next to the Ocean View Community Centre in Carina Close. 


5 Dec 2017


17:00 - 19:00

Public park in Salamander Road.


6 Dec 2017

Hanover Park

17:00 - 19:00

Open space between Hanover Park Avenue and Athwood Road, opposite Derwent Lane flats.


7 Dec 2017

Delft – The Hague

17:00 - 19:00

Open space between Schipol Street, Dulles Road, Commodore Street and Canberra Circle in the area of The Hague.


8 Dec 2017


17:00 - 19:00

Open space Zone 16, next to the Post Office and opposite the Taxi Rank.


9 Dec 2017

Closing Event:

Bonteheuwel –


11:00 - 13:30

Golden Gate Park in Oudehout Street, next to the Klipfontein Primary School.



Media Enquiries: 

Media enquiries:

Ewald Botha, Spokesperson for Minister Plato – 079 694 1113