Sandfire, a Ghanzi District-based mining and exploration company, aims to curb the increasing rate of Gender Based Violence in the area through projects that support victims and promote female empowerment initiatives and inclusiveness.

GBV is currently a national crisis and the hardest hit are women and children who always remain traumatised by acts of violence, while men are the main perpetrators.

Statistics from Ganzhi Police show 22 rape cases, eight defilement cases and eight threat to kill cases in Ghanzi only from January to March 2023.

“GBV cases are the most prevalent in Ghanzi. During the first three months of 2022 we registered 19 threat to kill cases and 113 rape cases. These are happening in Gantsi only not from the surrounding villages," Mohabano said.

An official of Gender Affairs department, Duncan Madiabaso urged participant to speak out against GBV and report all cases. He said stats show that 63 percent of women experience GBV, while 37 percent of men go through GBV.

“We should make sure that we report GBV and try by all means to look out for one another. Let’s not ignore what people are going through."

Sandfire conducted a 5km walk in Ghanzi to raise awareness and show its commitment to fighting GBV. The company’s commitment to creating an environment that is free of fear is borne from its values of Honesty, Respect and Collaboration and extends to its Motheo community Framework pillars including Community Health and Female Empowerment.

Speaking about their GBV policy, Sandfire Executive Country Head, Dale Burges said the company is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion, diversity and psychological safety in which all people can thrive, enabling them to bring their full selves to work each and every day.

“Sandfire remains truly committed to strengthening our partnerships and sponsorships to support initiatives towards ending Gender-Based Violence.”

Burges acknowledged that the participation of Sandfire Contractors, Employees, District Law Enforcement Agencies, NGOs, Local Authorities and the greater Ghanzi Community affirms the Company’s social responsiveness to

create a Gender-Based Violence free environment in its workplace and in communities.

“I am sure that we all agree that the Gender-Based Violence Awareness Walk could not have come at a more opportune moment, particularly with the rising numbers of Gender-Based Violence cases recorded in the region. Raising awareness of this critical issue is an important part of the role that we can all play as responsible stakeholders”.

AMS Project Manager, Caster Mothibedi highlighted that AMS and its partners and contractors do not tolerate GBV. “We are here as AMS, Sandfire and contractors to see how we can help the community because the numbers of GBV cases are escalating. As a company we are open to go an extra mile in fighting GBV.”

He urged the participants and the community at large to work together and fight the root cause of GBV. “There is always a root cause for GBV. Let us not just fight its consequences but let’s look for the root cause. As we discuss this issue we should look beyond immediate causes.”

Ghanzi District Chairperson, Gabriel Nguahoka urged participants to find better ways of addressing their problems without being violent. “We should learn how to handle our emotions because they are the main catalysts for violence,” he said, adding that men should not use culture to suppress women.

On behalf of sponsors, Mighty Infinite Services General Manager, Babatshi Munyadzwe said they are also concerned about GBV in the region and are committed to making a positive difference in the community.

“We should start as individuals to stop GBV. Let us handle ourselves as individuals to avoid violence.”

Other sponsors included Part Sales Botswana, Hitachi, Reliable Solutions and Tau Grading. Organisers included Sandfire Team, AMS, Ghanzi District Council, Office of the District Commissioner, Ghanzi Landboard and Department of Gender Affairs.