A total of R1.6 billion has been allocated for the implementation of the Emergency Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), which outlines intervention areas that can be implemented in the next six months.
Unveiled by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 18 September 2019, the Emergency Action Plan aims to combat violence against women and children through a coordinated government and civil society effort.
The Interim Steering Committee on GBVF held its bi-weekly meeting on 7 November 2019 to discuss the implementation of the GBVF Emergency Action Plan, as well as the management of the funds allocated for its implementation.
During the meeting, the committee received a report on funds, which have been committed by different government departments as well as funding development partners.
The allocated budget will be spent by various departments, managed through internal procurement processes.
No funds will be transferred to the Interim Steering Committee. The committee will monitor and ensure implementation of the Emergency Response Action Plan.
The committee also received reports from all the departments responsible for the implementation of the emergency plan.
Regarding the procurement of evidence-collection kits (paediatric rape kits, adult rape kits and buccal sample kits), the South African Police Service reported that it is in the process of finalising delivery to all police stations in the country. Delivery in Gauteng and Limpopo has been completed.
On the clearing of all DNA samples related to GBVF at forensic laboratories, SAPS is in the process of enhancing the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) that tracks the processing of GBVF related cases. The system will be completed by January 2020.
To strengthen the capacity of the Family Violence, Child Abuse and Sexual Offences (FCS) Units at SAPS, a total of 312 police entrants currently under training will be allocated to the FCS by 31 December 2019.
The verification of rape kits will be done by the Interim Committee through inspections at various police stations to ensure availability of the kits.
GBVF service complaints call centre
SAPS has also improved communication channels to ensure the correct handling of cases by establishing a 24-hour complaints call-centre for service complaints, including GBVF-related service complaints. The number is 0800 333 177.
Provincial complaints call centre numbers and e-mail addresses are available at www.saps.gov.za. Complaints can also be emailed to email@example.com.
The SAPS has further committed to finalising 80% of GBV related services complaints within 14 working days. This includes the review of current internal processes to ensure better efficiency.
Strategic buildings identified for GBV victims
On the provision of additional shelter and accommodation for victims of gender-based violence, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has identified strategic buildings to be used in all provinces.
This will be handed over to the Department of Social Development. The department has also identified 278 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers to support NGOs working in the GBV space (six for each of the 44 districts).
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development will also evaluate government personnel working directly with children and persons with intellectual challenges.
To date, the department has vetted approximately 500 department officials. One thousand five hundred prosecutors and 2 942 FCS members will be vetted against the National Register for Sex Offenders, as required by the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007.
During the meeting, the committee also agreed on the funding criteria for civil society organisations, and calls for proposals will be issued in due course.
The committee thanked everyone who made inputs towards the finalisation of the National Strategic Plan which will be submitted to government by the end of November 2019.