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January 14th, 2020

Take action to make South Africa gun free!

type:Campaign, Education, NGO
by:Yair Oded

One of the greatest tasks facing the African Union (AU) as it promotes cross-continental trade agreements is tackling widespread gun violence, which is exacerbated by the rampant illegal arms trade throughout Africa and governmental corruption.

Back in 2016, the AU has committed to ‘silence’ guns in Africa by 2020. While utter elimination of gun violence in Africa is highly unlikely to be achieved by the end of the year, several organisations are working on the ground to promote gun control, prevent attacks, and expose governments’ unscrupulous deals with arms traders.

Guns Free South Africa (GFSA) is a non-profit organisation working to prevent and decrease gun violence across South Africa, a country where rampant gang violence results in rising numbers of smal arms fatalities and injuries. As reported by DW, at least 23 people are killed every day from small arms in South Africa

For over 20 years, GFSA has been engaging in advocacy, education, and awareness raising across South Africa in order to support and guide victims of gun violence, promote nationwide gun control policy and facilitate its enforcement, and mobilise communities to decrease the proliferation of arms in their spheres. 

Among GFSA’s most notable achievements are playing a key role in the establishment of the Gun Control Alliance (which lobbied for stricter gun laws) and launching successful mobilisation efforts among youths in schools, who then created gun-free zones and pressured local police departments to act against gun-violence. 

Visit the GFSA website to learn about its ongoing campaigns and access its informational resources.

GFSA provide detailed guidance for victims of gun violence, and refer them to sources where they can seek further support and assistance.

The organisation also provides information about the Firearm Amnesty Program, which allows people across South Africa to render their illegally-held firearms to the government for disposal before May 2020 without facing prosecution. 

South Africa is merely one out of many African nations struggling with alarming gun-violence rates. Supporting local organisations such as GFSA can over time have a ripple effect and boost gun-control campaigns across the continent.

Image: GFSA website. 

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