Red flags raised over GBVF Private Sector Response Fund
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Cape Town - Civil society organisations, while welcoming President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the GBVF (Gender-Based Violence and Femicide) Private Sector Response Fund pledges, raised concerns over the fund’s insufficiency and potential mismanagement.
In his Women's day speech, the president announced that the GBVF Private Sector Response Fund has so far received R141 million in pledges. The fund, launched earlier this year, is aimed at financing and supporting the implementation of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF and expanding the government's work in fighting GBVF.
Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said the amount raised thus far was insufficient judging from the fact that GBV costs the country between R24 billion and R42bn annually.
“In order to fully realise the rights and dignity of women in South Africa more stringent measures need to be implemented. Comprehensive investments into sustainable economic opportunities for women need to be undertaken, the immediate and long- term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected women's development on all fronts, economically and socially, and as a result of the heightened stresses and anxiety at household level there has been an increase in cases of domestic violence.
“Greater commitment is required to help improve the status of women in society, we simply cannot afford to continue to receive commitments only based on rhetoric. Practical solutions ought to be provided with a clear course of action as to how measures are going to be implemented,” said Monakali.
Action Society spokesperson Daleen Gouws said the government can keep promising millions to sort out GBV, but won’t make any difference as there is no leadership and accountability. Gouws said this was particularly prevalent within the police.
“There are institutional scars that need clear direction with competent leadership. It has come to a point where failing government structures and lack of leadership is adding to the pandemic of GBV in South Africa, low economic growth is not helping.
“The DNA backlog crisis with over 300 000 cases outstanding is an indication of the lack of resolve from the government to tackle violent crime and GBV. SAPS is a failed organisation and needs urgent interventions,” she said.
Fight Back SA director Nicole Mirkin said while the fund was a step in the right direction in fighting GBV, civil society organisations should remain vigilant and ensure that the government ring fences these funds to fight the spread of GBV in the country.
Mirkin said details on how these funds would be allocated were not provided, which she said was a concern due to the government's history of looting and the misappropriation of funds.