Cape Town - The second annual report for the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Response Fund1 was released on Thursday.
It reflects the fund’s efforts over the past year in combating GBVF and what the fund’s focus will be for the year ahead.
Launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in February 2021, the fund has since inception allocated R69 million to more than 160 community-based organisations (CBOs).
The Fund was originally launched as a bridging mechanism to support the implementation of the National Strategic Plan, until the National Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Council could be established.
At the launch event CEO Sazini Mojapelo, who was appointed in March 2023, presented an overview of the impactful work the fund is doing, reflected on the achievements and challenges of the past year; and shared with guests her insights into the five strategic pillars that will inform the fund’s strategy and focus areas in the year ahead.
Despite raising their frustration with the slow pace of action from government, activists attending the summit recognised the establishment of the fund and its important work.
“South Africa holds the shameful distinction of being one of the most unsafe places in the world for women and girls and other vulnerable individuals. As a multi-sectoral convenor, the Fund is uniquely positioned to provide support and drive action.
“The extension of our two-year mandate to a further three years is a vote of confidence in the work we have done thus far and offers us a range of opportunities,” said Mojapelo.
“Through strategic partnerships, enabling ecosystems and collaborations, as well as dedicated teamwork, the fund has made a tangible difference in the lives of those most at risk. This includes women, children, the LGBTQIA+ community, and other vulnerable groups such as elderly women and persons with disabilities.”
Report data shows that women and children were the most reached while half of all the people the fund has reached consisted of young people, minors (children under the age of 15), and 10% representing the LGBTQIA+ community.
The fund collaborated with Iris House Children’s Hospice to design and launch the first-of-its-kind ALL Ability Victim Support Unit. This facility provides a survivor-friendly space and support service that accommodates the needs of persons with disabilities.
The fund also collaborated with Father A Nation, an NPO focused on addressing GBVF, crime, and fatherlessness. The fund also partnered with NPO Trulife running a program called “Restoration of Hope”, wherein the Fund's resources are leveraged to uplift youth in Durban.
“In the coming 2023-2024 financial year, our activities will prioritise four key focus areas to further our mission of combating GBVF. These strategic priorities are rooted in the context of our work and the urgent need for collective action and impact,” said Mojapelo.
The GBVF fund’s four key strategic priorities for the coming financial year include: bolstering the grant management programme, driving prevention through RESPECT (the fund’s flagship behavioural change initiative), strategic collaboration with key stakeholders, such as the National Prosecuting Authority to refurbish and establish more Thuthuzela Care Centres across South Africa, and establishing a private sector coalition.
“The past year has not been without its challenges. South Africa finds itself in perilous economic times. We face challenges ranging from high inflation to high unemployment rates, exacerbated by an ongoing energy crisis and soaring food prices, all being structural drivers of violence and crime.
“With an unemployment rate of almost 33%, the economic downturn created a breeding ground for GBVF to thrive in vulnerable communities. It has furthermore placed the market under tremendous pressure, and this impacted the Fund as we are reliant on our external partners to fund our operational and programmatic requirements,” said Mojapelo.
The full report can be accessed here.