While Gauteng and the rest of South Africa battle a wave of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF), it is deeply concerning that centres such as the Provincial Government-owned Centre for Abused Women & Children in Marshalltown, Johannesburg, has been hijacked by foreign nationals.
That is why ActionSA will write the Gauteng Social Development MEC, Mbali Hlophe, to ask that the Centre for Abused Women & Children in Marshalltown be urgently reclaimed by the Provincial Government to ensure that our vulnerable women and children get the help they need.
When I, alongside ActionSA Johannesburg Regional Chairperson, Emma More, and ActionSA City of Johannesburg Councillors and activists, visited the centre on this morning, we found it completely taken over by foreign nationals who illegally charge occupants rental fees.
The visit formed part of ActionSA’s national engagement campaign ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State Of the Nation Address (SONA) on 9 February 2023, where we engage with South Africans about the biggest obstacles facing the country and ask for solutions on how to fix it.
One of the South Africans living in the hijacked centre, Kenneth Dube, explained the inhumane conditions he has been forced to live under by the foreign nationals who hijacked the building, including often having a lack of running water and electricity.
Approximately 40% of the building’s occupants are estimated to be South Africans, and the remainder is foreign nationals. The foreign nationals furthermore occupied a City of Johannesburg clinic building next door, forcing the clinic to operate from a mobile vehicle across the street.
ActionSA councillors also indicated that they have already engaged with the Provincial Government to address the situation at the centre for Abused Women & Children in Marshalltown but have as of yet received no response.
It is unacceptable that essential facilities such as the Centre for Abused Women & Children in Marshalltown, Johannesburg, be hijacked by foreign nationals and that is why ActionSA will write to MEC Hlophe to urgently ameliorate the situation.
We will also ask our ActionSA Public Safety MMC, David Tembe, in the City of Johannesburg coalition government to urgently restore law and order to the area.Rule of Law is one of ActionSA’s key values, and we will therefore place pressure on the Gauteng Provincial Government to no longer allow key infrastructure to illegally fall into the hands of foreign nationals.
It is because of the careless attitude of the Gauteng Provincial Government that the situation has regressed to this extent, leaving our vulnerable women and children helpless.