For Immediate Release
Today on 29 March 2011, the Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, the Honourable Mrs Lulama Xingwana will launch five (5) Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) in Gauteng: Kopanong, Mamelodi, Thembisa, Natalspruit and Laudium.
As part of the Human Rights month celebration, the Minister deemed it fit to recognise the rights of women and children as vulnerable to abuse by launching these five centres around Gauteng. In his State of the Nation address last month, President Zuma expressed his support to the Thuthuzela Care Centre Programme. TCCs remain the flagship of South Africa's attempts to deliver gender justice in the country.
Through its partnerships with the Governments of Denmark (with UNICEF as an implementing partner), and the United States of America (USAID, with RTI International as an implementing partner), the Government of South Africa has established 37 TCCs throughout the country and are currently in the process of establishing 16 more.
Thuthuzela Care Centres are one-stop facilities that have been introduced as a vital part of South Africa's anti-rape strategy, aiming to reduce secondary trauma for the victim, improve conviction rates and reduce the cycle time for finalising cases.
This project is led by the NPA's Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit (SOCA), in partnership with various donors as a response to the urgent need for an integrated strategy for prevention, response and support for rape victims.
TCCs operate in in public hospitals in communities where the rape incidents are particularly high.
"They are also linked to sexual offences courts that are staffed by prosecutors, social workers, investigating officers, magistrates, health professionals, NGOs and police, and located in close proximity to the centres.
The centres are managed by a top level inter-departmental team comprising Justice, Health, Education, Treasury, Correctional Services, Safety and Security, Local Government, Home Affairs, Social Development and designated civil society organizations. The victim support component of the South Africa's TCCs in South Africa is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with funding from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through a bilateral agreement with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
It provides support to the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs unit (SOCA) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and is implemented by RTI International.
USAID assistance will help advance the South African government's program to upgrade and expand its one-stop TCC network, a pioneering effort to better protect the rights of women and children by providing crucial assistance medically, psychologically and judicially to sexual violence survivors.
USAID Southern Africa Director, Jeff Borns, says, "The Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC) is a 'best practice' model with proven capacity to 'turn victims into survivors'. South Africa is the country that inspired a regional response to sexual violence in Africa. "USAID supports the centres through the Women's Justice and Empowerment Initiative that the U.S. President launched in 2005 to assist Benin, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia to improve legal rights and protection for victims of sexual abuse.
"USAID has supported South Africa to show and teach other countries such as Benin, Kenya and even Chile how effectively the TCC works. "Advocate Majokweni and her team are fully engaged in ongoing partnerships with several countries on the African continent to improve the services provided to survivors of sexual assault."
Last updated: December 10, 2013