WATCH | Here's how vuvuzelas are being used to protect women in Soweto

03 October 2019 - 11:10
By Unathi Nkanjeni
The vuvuzela's are being used as a security measure in Soweto.
Image: Tebogo Letsie/TimesLIVE The vuvuzela's are being used as a security measure in Soweto.

The sound of the vuvuzela has taken on a new purpose as a security instrument in Soweto.

In the country’s largest township, the plastic trumpet is being used to alert women and children that their local patrol group can safely escort them to where they take public transport.

This initiative comes after the surge in violence against women in the country. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 3,000 women were murdered in South Africa last year, which is five times higher than the global average.

According to a Global Citizen report, hundreds of patrollers, working in teams throughout Soweto, walk women and children to their bus and train stations in the morning and back home again after hours.

“I wake up feeling safe when I hear the vuvuzela outside,” Zanele Thusi, a domestic worker, told This Is Place.

“We could not walk safely in the streets before these patrollers were here. We would have our cellphones stolen, we would hear of stabbings and daily incidences of crime.”

Gender-based activist from Rise Up Against Gender-based Violence, Mandisa Khanyile, told Reuters that the male-led initiative was a movement to end gender-based violence (GBV) in the township.

“I wish we lived in a society where women were able to walk freely in the streets.

“But in the absence of this, the patrols are an awesome, meaningful, tangible move by men who are taking responsibility for the scourge of gender-based violence in South Africa.”

The patrollers occasionally receive donations, but most do the patrolling for free.