NATIONAL NEWS - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has expressed its concern after Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane admitted that there was no budget to fund the establishment of the national council of gender-based violence and femicide (NCGBVF).
This comes light of the minister’s statement in August where she said that the implementation of the NCGBVF would be accelerated, “in partnership with civil society”.
In a statement on Wednesday, DA MP Nazley Sharif said Nkoana-Mashabane also conceded – during a meeting of parliament’s portfolio committee on her department – that there was no timeframe on the legislation of the national strategic plan (NSP) to combat GBVF.
Sharif said it was concerning that seven months after the adoption of the NSP that the minister’s department had failed to secure the budget and additional resources needed to ensure implementation.
“Especially in light of the fact that National Treasury has already allocated R5 million to the establishment of the NCGBVF,” said Sharif.
“The NSP outlines the establishment of the NCGBVF in chapter 5 and is also outlined in Article 4 of the presidential declaration against GBVF in 2019,” she said.
“The role of the NCGBVF is essentially to ensure that the NSP is implemented, monitored and evaluated.”
The MP reiterated that the need to address the scourge of GBVF could not simply be “a talk shop or a tick-box exercise”.
“There must be a clear plan on implementation of strategies, a clear timeframe attached to the implementation plan and a concise monitoring and evaluation plan, in order to hold key departments accountable.
“It is unacceptable that women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community continue to be left alone in the cold, murdered and abused, while the government drags its feet.”
Sharif further questioned the legislation process of the NCGBVF, which has not commenced yet.
“It would seem as though between the minister’s department and the department of justice, this process of legislation is not a priority.
“The lack of legislation will make it very difficult to ensure the implementation of the NSP, that departments are held accountable and to fight the scourge of GBVF on the ground.
“It is one thing to have a policy on paper, it is another thing to have this policy legislated.”
The MP added that the DA calls on Nkoana-Mashabane to ensure that there was an adequate budget given to the implementation of the NSP and the establishment of the NCGBVF.
“As well as ensuring that the legislation related to all GBVF issues be done speedily and brought to parliament without delay.”