R11 million squandered on empty GBV buildings

Issued by Alexandra Abrahams MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Social Development
05 Dec 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Alexandra Abrahams MP.

During 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, the ANC government reaffirms their indifference to combating gender-based violence (GBV).

Five properties meant for GBV shelters in Gauteng, which were handed over in December 2019 by the former Minister for the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), Patricia De Lille, and Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, who hailed the handover as government’s response to combating GBV, have yet to be put to use for its intended purposes.

Instead of providing security in the form of shelters for victims of GBV, DPWI has spent over R11 million from January 2019 to 31 September 2023 on security personnel safeguarding closed properties in Gauteng.

In answer to a written parliamentary question from the DA, current DPWI Minister Sihle Zikalala confirmed that the projected monthly cost to the DPWI to secure the five buildings is nearly R260 000, should they remain closed. Already one of the properties seems to have been repurposed for offices – additional questions will be submitted as to who or which government department or entity has taken occupation.

The ANC continues to demonstrate its fiscal irresponsibility by squandering taxpayers’ money while failing to reach a consensus around a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and so allowing the continued abuse of GBV victims.

And national government refuses to intervene. The DA has previously written to Minister Zulu, as well as the chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on social development, Nonkosi Mvana, to intervene and call Gauteng MEC Mbali Hlophe to account to Parliament, but to date there has been no interest from the pair since raising the issue over a year ago.

In contrast, the DA-run Western Cape has wasted no time in signing a MOU and partnering with NGOs to ensure safe spaces for vulnerable women and children with the first of six shelters having opened within just three months. All six shelters are currently operational within the province.

Women and children facing violent abuse 365 days a year deserve a caring DA government that puts words into action, and not the current ANC government of empty promises.

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