Public Service and Administration Minister Ayando Dlodlo on Monday called on communities to fully support women and children who speak out against their abusers.

“We must listen to victims of violence and let them know that it is not their fault,” the Minister said.

Dlodlo said men should mentor and teach young boys to always value and respect young girls and women.

“We must say NO to men who beat their partners and report those who do it to the police. We must not let closed doors in our homes become prisons for women and children.

“We all have a role to play in ensuring women and children feel safe and protected in our communities,” Dlodlo said.

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children was launched on 25 November and is being held under the theme: “#HearMeToo! A Woman of Fortitude”.

This year is the 19th year that government has undertaken the campaign.

Dlodlo said government recognises that gender-based violence is one of the ways of highlighting the role of gender inequality. “As government, we are taking a step towards addressing it,” she said.

“As a country, we should join hands together to end the cycle of abuse. In the spirit of #ThumaMina let us fully support women and children who speak out against their abusers. We all have a role to play in ensuring women and children feel safe and protected in our communities,” the Minister said.

Prior to the Imbizo, the Minister met with border management authorities to seek to understand the challenges at the border post and also to hear about service delivery improvement plans and strategies that will be implemented to better serve the millions of people that cross the border between South Africa and Mozambique each year.

The Minister was joined by representatives from the Office of the Premier in Mpumalanga and representatives from the Mpumalanga local government.

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