As South Africa continues to battle the wave of Gender-based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) through various means and structures, the work of the Interim Steering Committee on GBVF is becoming evidently more important. Today the Committee held its second meeting in 2020, continuing its work of ensuring that there is a speedy response to the fight against GBVF.
As part of the discussions, the Committee received an interim progress report from the National Development Agency (NDA), an agency tasked with managing the disbursement of funds earmarked for Civil Society Organisations involved in addressing issues of GBVF.
On 9 January 2020, the NDA in partnership with the Department of Social Development and the Interim Steering Committee on GBVF issued a Request for Proposals from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that implement Victim Empowerment Programmes (VEP) in response to Gender-Based Violence and Femicide targeting all nine (9) provinces. The NDA reported that to-date, a total of 592 applications have been received.
Once the process of collating applications has been concluded and qualifying CSOs identified, NDA will commence contracting with recommended CSOs by the 2nd of March 2020.
In 2019, the Committee finalised the National Strategic Plan 2020-2030 which provides a multi-sectoral, coherent strategic policy to ensure a coordinated GBV national response and briefed Cabinet.
Cabinet approved that all funded programmes of the plan must be implemented by the various affected departments and further directed that more work be done in refining the proposed GBVF Council.
Today, the Committee deliberated on this Cabinet decision and resolved to have further engagements with Ministers of Social Development, Police, Justice and Correctional Services, Small Business Development and Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, who are delegated to do further work on the proposed Council.
In addition, the meeting agreed that between March and April 2020, in order to strengthen victim empowerment response, the Interim Steering Committee, the Department of Social Development, Community Policing Forum and Visible Policing Forum of the SAPS have agreed to visit certain police stations to assess the effectiveness of the victim friendly rooms located at these police stations.
The Co-Chairperson of the Interim Steering Committee Advocate Brenda Madumise said “The fight against GBV and Femicide continues. As a country we all have a responsibility to ensure that we win this fight for the next generation”.
We call on all South Africans to support the work of the Interim Steering Committee, focus our energy and resources towards ensuring that homes, communities, work-spaces, churches and all public spaces are safe.