#PoliceResources and how the case affects women
Article by Janie Booth
Khayelitsha has one of the highest rates of violence against women in the world. Assault, rape, and murder is a reality for many women. Women’s rights to safety, security, life, and health are violated daily.
The reason behind these problems is a lack of resources. The allocation of police human resources, especially in areas such as Khayelitsha, unfairly discriminates against black women living in informal settlements. This is because the system employed by the South African Police Service (SAPS) to determine how police officers are placed in areas is deeply flawed.
The Constitutional Court Reinforces Spatial Violence Created By South Africa’s Apartheid Past
The Constitutional Court ruling, in the Baron V Claytile matter, points to a disregard for poor people’s agency, therefore affirming the idea that choice is a luxury reserved for the wealthy. Instead of interpreting the law through pro-farmer, pro-poor, pro-human-rights lenses, the Court made the presumption that landowners may evict farm workers at their will, and that these farm workers may be legitimately relocated to unsatisfactory locations. Baron v Claytile reinforces the same dynamic created by forced eviction, where farm workers are unable to have control over their own lives, reminiscent of an apartheid reality that prevented black people from owning land in affluent, White areas.
By Seehaam Samaai, Director of the Women’s Legal Centre
The spatial organisation of the apartheid city was such that Blacks, at the periphery of the city had the least access to resources, whilst White people, at the centre of the city not only had access to the city’s resources, but also controlled them.
HOW STATE CAPTURE AFFECTS WOMEN
By Janie Booth and Victoria Wang
State capture refers to the efforts of the powerful elite to influence the government into operating in a way that benefits private interests. In South Africa, it is diverting money from social delivery programmes, which are supposed to promote human rights and social welfare, and into the hands of the power elite.
This affects the lives of every citizen, rich or poor. Half of the people in South Africa live in poverty, and this directly hurts the poor. Investing in human rights is important to ensure that all people have access to clean water, food, healthcare, education, and housing.
CHECKING THE NEWS EACH MORNING BRINGS A CONTINUOUS STREAM OF UPDATES ON STATE CAPTURE IN SOUTH AFRICA.
But do they talk at all about women?
By Janie Booth
State capture has an impact on all citizens of South Africa, but none more than black women. Women’s realities here are determined by race, class, and gender-based access to resources and opportunities. State capture is placing women’s rights at risk: rights like the right to adequate housing, food, healthcare, education, social security and water.
The government can–and should–be held accountable if they do not promote, protect, respect and fulfil these rights. They have a duty to meet the basic needs of all people, and must not do things that make it more difficult to gain access to these rights.
State Capture – How does it work?
We encounter poverty every day. When we are approached by the mostly young, mostly black beggars that roam on seemingly every street we take, I am struck by a range of emotions: anxiety, fear, annoyance. Mixed in those feelings used to be pity and empathy, but they are becoming increasingly difficult to evoke. Instead of addressing the disheartening levels of poverty and inequality in Cape Town, it’s almost like I’m on autopilot, growing irritated at those who get in my way when I’m trying to get from one place to another. My passiveness unsettles me.
The recent popular revelations of state capture in South Africa have shocked many South Africans out of a state of budding post-racialist thought, waking them from this sleep of complacency and passiveness. “State capture,” or the way in which President Zuma and senior government officials have colluded with a shadow network of corrupt brokers and the rich elite such as the Gupta family, aims to repurpose state institutions so that they serve the purpose of benefiting the rich elite at the cost of the already-poor.