The Solidarity Fund has approved R17m in funding for initiatives that support victims of gender-based violence as part of its efforts to assist those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The fund, established by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March to pool financial resources to help address the social and economic impact of Covid-19, noted the upsurge in the number of incidents of gender-based violence as the country grapples with the pandemic.
It said the funds would be allocated to the National Shelter Movement, a non-profit organisation that supports a network of 78 shelters across the country, 55 Thuthuzela Care Centres, a government initiative aimed at ensuring justice for victims, and the gender-based violence (GBV) command centre which operates a national call centre facility managed by qualified social workers.
“The funds will be used to resource the GBV command centre with additional staff and the necessary equipment to enable it to cope with the recent upsurge in calls and messages and to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical equipment such as rape kits for the National Shelter Movement and the Thuthuzela Care Centres.”
Chairperson of the Solidarity Fund Gloria Serobe said: “Gender-based violence is one of the social ills exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our duty as the fund has been to respond to the needs of those who are most vulnerable at this time. The intention with these interventions is to ensure that victims of gender-based violence are protected and are treated with care and dignity.”
The fund’s humanitarian lead Wendy Tlou said: “The fund has been working with various civil society groups and women’s groups to respond to the emerging scourge of gender-based violence. This intervention marks the next phase of our humanitarian effort as we respond to the different phases of the pandemic.”