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'Urgent steps needed' to curb violence against women, children

The deputy president says the ANC will be the party to secure safer communities for residents.

FILE: Members of Women and Men Against Child Abuse protest. Picture: www.wmaca.org

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for urgent steps to be introduced to curb violence against women and children.

The African National Congress (ANC) presidential hopeful addressed a crowd of supporters at the ANC Western Cape's OR Tambo centenary celebrations in Cape Town on Saturday.

Ramaphosa arrived at a packed Every Nation Christ Church in Goodwood.

Ramaphosa lambasted the high number of violent incidents reported against women and children.

He said the ANC would be the party to secure safer communities for residents.

His comments follows the release of the South African Police Service's crime statistic.

Police revealed on Tuesday that the number of reported rape cases in South Africa decreased by 4%, but the number of sexual assaults has increased by 0.9%.

Overall, the number of reported sexual offences has decreased by 4.3%.

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Cape Town has raised concerns following the release of the statistics.

The centre’s Shaheema McLeod says that crimes against children are of particular concern.

“While the minister said that officers on the ground need to provide services, but who is going to force their hand and who is going to ensure that women and children feel safe to report violations?"

More than 3,000 women and children were murdered nationally in the 2016/2017 financial year.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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