State of the Nation Address 2023



State of the Nation Address 2023

Leave No One Behind Leave No One Behind

Gender-based violence

Government continues to intensify its fight against gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF), which President Cyril Ramaphosa has described as the country’s ‘second pandemic’.

The National Strategic Plan on GBVF

The National Strategic Plan on GBVF is the government's comprehensive strategy for tackling all forms of violence and abuse against women and children. Since the launch of the strategic plan in 2020, several new interventions have been implemented.

  • Extensive legal reform
  • Support for survivors through the provision of evidence kits at police stations
  • Psychological and social services
  • The establishment of a GBVF Response Fund
  • Support for Thuthuzela and Khuseleka Care Centres, which provide vital services for GBV survivors

Around R21 billion has been dedicated over the medium-term to the implementation of the six pillars of the plan, including the economic empowerment of women.

Private-Sector GBVF Response Fund

The GBVF Response Fund was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa together with the International Women’s Forum of South Africa in February 2021 to address the high levels of GBVF in South Africa.

Since then, around R162 million has been pledged to the fund, with 75% of this amount already collected.

R150 million


R69 million



Community organisations benefitted


Legislation to fight GBV

Government has introduced new laws to protect women and children in South Africa from abuse and violence.

We are implementing new legislation which has strengthened the criminal justice system, put more effective deterrents in place to promote accountability, and enabled better protection and support for survivors.

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill

  • Expands the definition of incest

  • Introduces a new offence of sexual intimidation

  • Further regulates the National Register for Sex Offenders

  • Regulates the reporting duties of people who are aware that sexual offences have been committed

Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill

  • Introduces mandatory DNA collection for certain crimes

  • DNA to be taken from people convicted for schedule 8 offences – rape, murder, human trafficking, robbery and culpable homicide

Domestic Violence Amendment Bill

  • Expands the definition of domestic violence to include actions such as controlling or bullying behaviour

  • Makes provisions for protecting people in engagements, dating and in customary relationships

  • Further regulates protection orders in response to domestic violence

Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill

  • Amends various laws that address GBV and offences committed against vulnerable people

  • Provides for additional procedures to reduce secondary victimisation of vulnerable people in court proceedings

Programmes and policies that promote women’s financial independence are critical to reducing the rates of GBVF. Find out more about what the government is doing to support women-owned SMMEs, women entrepreneurs and more.


Dedicated GBV desks

Government is making progress in establishing dedicated desks at police stations in GBVF hotspots. The desks are staffed by police officers who are specifically trained to provide victim-centred assistance and support.

There are now 134 desks in operation and the goal is to have a GBV desk in all police stations countrywide.

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