24 June 2019

South Africa: Social Development Welcomes Commission for Gender Equality Report

press release

The Department of Social Development (DSD) welcomes the results of the Investigative Report titled: "State of Shelters in South Africa" which was released by the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) today, 24 June 2019.

The CGE's work, as a strategic partner in the fight against the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV), can only assist and enhance the work of the Department of Social Development to improve all services rendered to survivors of GBV as mandated by the various pieces of legislation.

The report from the CGE highlights that the Department of Social Development cooperated during the investigation by providing all requested documentation and will continue working with the CGE to make sure that all survivors of GBV are protected.

The Department acknowledges the challenge of inadequate funding and unit-cost disparities in various Provinces as mentioned in the report.

In our quest to ensure that the DSD's Constitutional mandate is fulfilled, the department is prioritising the framework and implementation guidelines to assist all Provinces to implement the policy in a similar way - including realistic and undeviating unit costs within the budget allocated by Treasury.

The prioritisation framework aims to assist Provinces across the board to reprioritise identified programmes which will be funded in a uniform manner.

Currently, the Department, working with National Treasury is finalising its reprioritisation and GBV has been identified as one of the programmes that should be tested to ensure that all Provinces fund GBV programmes. Testing will take place from July 2019 and will continue for a period of 12 months.

The department has also developed a Victim Support Services Bill which will be processed to Cabinet during this financial year. The Bill, amongst other elements, will be addressing the regulation of the provision of sheltering.

This will assist the department and institutions with enforcing the existing minimum norms and standards and the uniform implementation of programmes which are accredited. The funding of institutions will also be linked to the compliance norms and standards by all Provinces.

The Department of Social Development believes that this Bill will assist in improving sheltering conditions in the country. This will in turn ensure the protection of survivors of violence.

The Department of Social Development has always maintained that it cannot fight the scourge of violence alone. It needs all stakeholders to make sure that every South African lives in a free and safe South Africa.

Issued by: Department of Social Development

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