A Bill with a Purpose
The NCGBVF Bill, initially tabled in Parliament and referred to the committee on October 11, 2022, has now gained crucial momentum. Classified as a section 75 Bill by the Joint Tagging Mechanism, it signifies the government’s commitment to addressing gender-based violence comprehensively.
A Comprehensive Review
The committee embarked on a comprehensive review of the NCGBVF Bill, starting with a briefing from the Department of Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities on February 28, 2023. To ensure a thorough understanding and encourage public participation, the committee organized both in-person and virtual public hearings on June 6 and 13, 2023, during which they heard a total of 17 oral submissions.
Diverse Perspectives and Inputs
These hearings attracted a wide range of perspectives, as individuals, groups, and organizations, including academics, civil society groups, a statutory body, business sector experts, and a labor union, presented their views. In addition to the oral submissions, the committee received 52 written submissions from the public, which were submitted electronically and online. The Department of Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities responded to these submissions on August 29, September 5, and September 12, 2023.
Refining the Bill
Following these consultations, the committee worked diligently to refine the Bill. On September 19, 2023, they were presented with a revised version as a working document, which incorporated inputs from committee members made during a meeting held on September 12, 2023. This meticulous process included deliberating clause-by-clause on the amendments made to the Bill.
A Milestone Achievement
On September 27, 2023, the committee took the crucial step of deliberating clause-by-clause on the Bill in its entirety. Finally, on September 29, 2023, the committee accepted and adopted its comprehensive report on the Bill.
The Next Steps
The committee plans to table the report in the National Assembly for its consideration and will subsequently refer it to the National Council of Provinces for further processing before the President can give assent into law.
Words of Gratitude
The Chairperson of the committee, Ms. Nonhlanhla Ncube-Ndaba, expressed her gratitude to committee members for their dedicated contributions in shaping this pivotal piece of legislation.
“Your dedication and contributions delivered the report we are proud of and which we pass to the National Assembly with full confidence. The establishment of the Council would be an important milestone for the country in the fight against GBVF,” said Ms. Ncube-Ndaba.