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Parliament may extend term for urgent debate on gender-based violence

Speaker Thandi Modise told today’s National Assembly programming committee meeting that she’d received a request for an urgent debate on gender-based violence and it had been agreed that a date for this should be found.

The National Assembly of South Africa on 22 May 2019. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament may sit for longer in order to urgently debate gender-based violence.

Addressing the nation on Wednesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the country was facing two pandemics – COVID-19 and violence against women and children, which he likened to a war being waged by men.

WATCH: Ramaphosa says SA in the midst of two epidemics – COVID-19 & GBV

Speaker Thandi Modise told today’s National Assembly programming committee meeting that she’d received a request for an urgent debate on gender-based violence and it had been agreed that a date for this should be found.

At least 21 women and children have been murdered in the past few weeks.

Parliament’s term is set to end next Friday with the hosting of a Youth Parliament, but MPs might sit longer so they can raise their voices against gender-based violence.

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Veronica Mente: "We must consider to have that GBV (debate) before we go to (the) constituency period of this term."

A joint-sitting debate last September led to R1,6 billion being set aside for a national effort to combat gender-based violence.

Modise is also set to crack the whip on Cabinet members who are due to bring to Parliament legislation related to gender-based violence. President Cyril Ramaphosa last night said that he wanted Parliament to process this without delay.

DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said that it was important to correct the impression that Parliament was holding up the passage of such crucial legislation, as it was still waiting to receive the draft bills from ministers.

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