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South African Mining Industry Joins the Fight Against GBVF

Taking a Stand: The Mining Sector's Commitment to Gender Equality

by Victor Adetimilehin

South Africa is grappling with a dual crisis: the relentless scourge of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) alongside the COVID-19 pandemic. President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared GBVF a ‘second pandemic,’ and the latest crime statistics reveal alarming numbers. In the second quarter of 2023, the country recorded 10,516 rapes, 1,514 cases of attempted murder, and 14,401 assaults against women.


A Call for Allies: Men in Mining Step Up

Traditionally male-dominated, the mining industry is now taking bold steps to address GBVF. The Women in Mining South Africa (WIMSA) group emphasizes the crucial role of men as allies in this fight. WIMSA’s rallying cry is clear: GBVF affects everyone, and it’s time for collective action. As the industry grapples with its challenges, it recognizes that GBVF is not just a mining problem but a national crisis.


Investing in Change: Industry Initiatives

According to a report by  Mining Review Africa, the mining sector has invested significantly in preventing and responding to GBVF:

  • National Strategic Plan: The industry commits around R21 billion to implement the National Strategic Plan on GBVF. This comprehensive government strategy aims to tackle all forms of violence against women and children. Economic empowerment of women is a key pillar, emphasizing financial independence and equal opportunities.


  • GBVF Response Fund: Launched jointly by President Ramaphosa and the International Women’s Forum of South Africa, this fund mobilizes private sector resources. With R162 million pledged so far, it supports prevention and response initiatives across the country.


  • Legislation and Support: New laws strengthen the criminal justice system and enhance protection for survivors. Evidence kits, psychological services, and referrals are available at police stations. Thuthuzela and Khuseleka Care Centres provide vital support for GBV survivors.


Beyond the Mines: A Safer World for All

The mining industry acknowledges that GBVF extends beyond workplace boundaries. It actively engages with host communities, promoting awareness and education. Women’s participation in the sector has increased sixfold since 2002, reaching 15% of the total workforce. The industry believes that women’s empowerment is essential for its success and societal progress.

Hope shines through as the mining industry stands united against GBVF. By fostering gender equality, it aims to create a safer, more equitable South Africa for women and girls.

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