GBV safe houses grapple with lack of funds

JOHANNESBURG - Shelters for survivors of gender-based violence are in desperate need of money.

In an open letter sent to the president and Social Development Department recently, the National Shelter Movement says safe houses are struggling to deliver services and are underfunded by government.

The NSM represents 78 shelters across the country.

READ: Shelters for abused women underfunded: report 

Representative Bernadine Bachar said the government is yet to pay up the R100-million it promised to shelters in the Western Cape.

She said only one of the 14 homes in the province received money from the Criminal Assets Recovery Account funds since last year.

"We are hearing increasingly from shelters that they are facing closure because of inadequate funding from government. Some shelters I have heard in the Western Cape have got about two months left within their bank accounts," Bachar said.

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"We can't afford to set in a situation where shelters are forced to be closing their doors."

Shelters in the Eastern Cape say they face pay disparities because less money is allocated to the province. 

NSM Eastern Cape representative Chrislynn Moonieyan said, "the disparities are not only between urban and rural but provinces themselves where we see in the Western Cape subsidies that they receive differs from the ones in the Eastern Cape.

READ: Ramaphosa outlines plans to strengthen fight against GBV

"The challenges that we are facing right now on the ground is that Eastern Cape shelters have not received their government subsidies this should have been done by April of this year."

The NSM says it's also received no feedback from government regarding its concerns.


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