Hundreds of people are starting to make their way inside the Lebowakgomo Civic Centre where President Jacob Zuma is expected to launch the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

Themed “Count Me In: Together Moving a Non-Violent South Africa Forward”, the campaign encourages South Africans to act for a safer society for women and children.

The South African Police Services, including various district municipalities in Limpopo, are distributing pamphlets with useful information on services rendered by government and other relevant information to assist the community.

Government will also convene national dialogues in all district municipalities to bring the scourge of violence against women and children to the fore.

The dialogues, which would be conducted during the 16 Days campaign, would be used as an opportunity for the community to share personal stories and find collective solutions to end the violence and abuse.

The dialogues will not only engage with women, but also with men’s organisations. The sessions will be held separately with women and men to allow them to participate more freely.

In an exclusive interview with SAnews, the Commissioner working for the Commission for Gender Equality, Mbuyiselo Botha, said the dialogues are very important and critical in ensuring that communities find solutions to end gender violence.

“What’s going to be more critical in moving forward is to ensure that the Women Ministry follow up on these processes. There are visible practical sustainable actions taken as the results of these dialogues. All of us as South Africans should support these dialogues because they are going to play a critical role in informing the status of gender based violence in the country,” said Botha.

The dialogues will also include public education and help raise awareness. Furthermore, it will help government assess the responsiveness of the Criminal Justice System.

The dialogue sessions respond to the National Development Plan Vision for 2030, which emphasises “building safer communities through an integrated approach”.

It also responds to several outcomes identified in the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014 – 2019.