Commission for Gender Equality
26 June 2019
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has instructed the social development department to provide it with a standardised policy detailing the manner and criteria to fulfil when survivors wish to apply for extension at a shelter.
The CGE announced this during a briefing on its Systemic Investigation Report of Shelters that accommodate victims of violence.
The investigation was designed to assess the state of shelters for victims of violence, but in particular, victims of gender-based violence (GBV) and members of the Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex (LGBTI) Communities.
The CGE pointed out that, given the high levels of GBV in South Africa, it became essential to assess the conditions of shelters.
In the 2018 State of the Nation Address president Ramaphosa called for shelters to be adequately resourced to respond to the needs of all people including people with disabilities and LGBTQIA.
Some of the findings of the investigation include lack of adequate funding for shelters; late payment of tranches and a lack of cooperation; lack of transitional housing / second stage housing and lack of compliance to policies and standardised practices, policies, skills development and complaints mechanisms.
CGE added that the policy “should also include a costing analysis wherein the costs of extensions are forecast and budgeted for and a clear complaints mechanism for survivors to appeal any negative decision”.
A policy outlining how the monitoring of survivors after exiting a shelter is to take place has also been requested.
The CGE has called for the two policies to be submitted within six months after the release of the investigative report.
It also wants the department to standardize salaries and/or stipends of shelters’ staff and detail and set the educational requirements and core skills needed for the requisite job roles in shelters.
The CGE has also requested that the department finalise its policy regarding the GBV Prevention Programme for LGBTIQA Persons within six months from the date of release of the report.
The department must also put safeguards in place within its contract management system to prevent late payments to shelters.