Driving for Change - a frontline response to sexual violence in Rustenburg

18 September 2019

Lebogang Seketema is one of eight drivers working in an MSF project in Rustenburg, the heart of South Africa’s Platinum Mining Belt which treats survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in a network of Doctors Without Borders (MSF)-supported clinics.

In 2015, an MSF survey found that 1 in 4 women living in Rustenburg had experienced rape in her lifetime. Lebo knows first-hand the suffering and pain caused by sexual violence and it has changed his life.

Driving for Change

Each day, he collects survivors and transports them to the nearest clinic for mental, physical care and social support in MSF-supported clinics, often returning them home again.

The majority of survivors collected by the drivers are women.

As they are often the first person a survivor meets following an incident, MSF’s all-male drivers have received psychological first aid training in how to support survivors from the start.

In this 9-minute feature, Lebo shares his experience in supporting ‘clients’ and gives insights into his life growing up with violence and poverty in this mining region. Survivor Poppy shares her experience of interacting with MSF’s drivers, who made a difference in her treatment journey.

About MSF response to sexual violence in South Africa

Since 2015, MSF has worked with the North West health department to expand access to free, high quality and confidential care for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Rustenburg’s Bojanala district through four dedicated clinics, known as Kgomotso Care Centres.

MSF teams, including forensic nurses, psychologists, registered counsellors, social workers and social auxiliary workers, provide clients with an essential package of emergency and follow up care.

An increasing number of survivors are being referred from MSF’s community-based initiatives in Rustenburg’s Freedom Park and Sondela areas, which includes a schools health program that educates learners about sexuality and gender-based violence.

In South Africa, MSF is calling for all survivors of sexual violence to have immediate access to complete medical, psychological care and social support.


Read about MSF's activities in South Africa

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