The National Development Agency (NDA) has disputed comments that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who had applied for the Criminal Assets Recovery Account (CARA) funding for Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) have not been paid.
The NDA said remarks by Rise Up Against GBV Director Mandisa Khanyile during an interview with Newzroom Afrika, that CSOs who had applied for the CARA funding have not been paid, and that the NDA's report to the Social Development Portfolio Committee in Parliament about payment to the CSOs are not true.
"The commentary made by Khanyile is not only misleading but malicious, as it suggests that the NDA and the Department of Social Development have not been implementing crucial government intervention towards the scourge of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide in the country through the Criminal Assets Recovery Account Programme," said NDA CEO Thamo Mzobe.
Mzobe explained that the Social Development, as the lead and coordinating department for the Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP), requested funds from CARA fund for strengthening prevention of victimisation and support services for victims of crime and violence.
VEP is one of the key priorities of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster as reflected in the Integrated Criminal Justice System Strategy, and it contributes to Outcome 3: People in South Africa are and feel safe.
In partnership with Social Development and the Interim Steering Committee on GBVF, Mzobe said the NDA issued a request for proposals from CSOs that implement VEP in response to GBVF, targeting all nine provinces in 2020.
R85 million approved for CSOs funding
She said that through the call for proposals, a total of 592 applications were received from CSOs in all nine provinces.
"The NDA Board approved funding to 312 CSOs to the value of R85.6 million, as recommended by the Grant Evaluation Committee. Of the board approved funding, R36.75 million has been disbursed to approved CSOs. This amount comprises of R33.75 million in first tranche payments to 249 CSOs, and R3 million in second tranche payments to 22 CSOs," Mzobe explained.
Mzobe noted that the outstanding payments which have been committed and amounting to R48.85 million, are made up of both first tranche payments to the 63 remaining CSOs that were approved for funding, and second tranche payments committed to 290 approved CSOs.
Payment delays are normally due to late reporting by implementing CSOs, she said.
"As the NDA, we are committed to the empowerment of CSOs to ensure they are able to partner with government and have sustainable programmes to respond to the scourge of GBVF in South Africa.
"We will ensure that the funds from the CARA Programme are given to the remaining approved CSOs to enable them to implement their Victim Empowerment Programmes. Our objective through this programme is not only to fund these CSOs but to capacitate them and enable them to have sustainable programmes that will deal with GBVF," Mzobe said.
She added that the NDA will continue to give regular feedback to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee and the public, through NDA social media platforms and the media regarding the CARA Programme, and the continued disbursement of the funds to the remaining CSOs.