Beitbridge in urgent need of a safe haven

By Innocent Nxumalo
THE increase in cases of abuse and cross border related violence has highlighted the need for the responsible authorities to set up more social protection facilities.
This comes at a time when Beitbridge’s only social protection facility, also known as a safe haven has been overwhelmed in recent weeks.
The Beitbridge community has expressed concern over the large number of distressed persons who are flocking to the safe haven.
The Director of Mudi Wa Pfulupfelo safe haven, which is run under government’s department of social welfare, Mrs Babongile Gora summed up the dire situation.
“Mudi Wa Pfulupfelo has a bed capacity of eight. But at times up to 25 come to us for help, being a border town many encounter untold tough situations and would need a secure place,” she explained.
Stakeholders who recently organised a fundraising banquet for the construction of a bigger social protection facility are of the opinion that the border town has a responsibility of not only looking after its own distressed residents, but to also cater for travellers who are exposed to various forms of abuse.
“It is our collective responsibility to provide a safe place for those exposed to harsh forms of abuse. As a local authority, we feel it’s a long overdue project,” said Mr Loud Ramakgapola, Beitbridge Town Clerk.
“There are extreme cases of abuse happening lately here in Beitbridge, some of these are so touching. It is therefore a necessity for us to be part of the construction project,” said Hon. Albert Nguluve, leigislator for Beitbridge East.
Survivors of cross border violence, sexual abuse and gender based violence are part of the ballooning population that requires safe havens in Beitbridge.