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Draft Victim Support Services Bill in the Pipeline

June 25, 2019

Department of Social Development

25 June 2019

A Draft Victim Support Services Bill will be placed before cabinet for approval during the current financial year.

The social development department revealed this in a statement on the release of a Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) report.

The investigative report is entitled “State of Shelters in South Africa”.

According to the department, the report highlights its cooperation during the investigation by providing all requested documentation and it vowed to continue working with the CGE to make sure that all survivors of gender-based violence are protected.

The department also acknowledged the challenge of inadequate funding and unit-cost disparities in the nine provinces as mentioned in the report.

A prioritization framework and implementation guidelines are being developed to assist provinces to implement GBV policy in a similar manner.

The department plans to test, over the next 12 months, that all provinces fund GBV programmes.

Earlier this year, the department referred to the proposed bill as necessary to address challenges identified with the Domestic Violence Act such as no obligations on the department to provide victims access to shelters.

The department indicated that, once finalised, the proposed legislation will provide an obligation for provision of services to victims and ensure regulating such services and shelters.

In the statement, the department pointed out that the draft bill will be addressing the regulation of the provision of shelters.

“This will assist the department and institutions with enforcing the existing minimum norms and standards and the uniform implementation of programmes which are accredited. The funding of institutions will also be linked to the compliance norms and standards by all Provinces.”