DSD waits on National Minister to sign MOU for 6 New Shelters
Yesterday, 26 October 2020, the Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, was accompanied by Executive Mayor of Oudtshoorn Municipality, Christiaan Macpherson, during an oversight visit to a shelter for victims of violence and abuse in Dysselsdorp.
Yesterday's site visit is one of many visits that Minister Fernandez will be conducting across rural areas in the Province, in light of the announcement made on 4 March 2020, by the National Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia De Lille, that six government-owned properties in the Western Cape will be made available to be used as safe havens for women and children.
In Minister De Lille’s initial announcement, it was highlighted that the properties will be situated in the Garden Route, West Coast, and the Central Karoo areas.
In response to the National Minister of Public Work’s announcement earlier this year, Minister Fernandez noted that, “We will upscale our GBV services through the six new shelters which we have funding for, and we are ready to go as soon as Minister Patricia de Lille signs-off the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the respective properties.”
Minister Fernandez added, “We already have Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) service providers in these hotspots rendering psycho-social support services to GBV victims. We are also working on strengthening after-hours response teams to ensure that sufficient and appropriate help is available to GBV victims late at night and on weekends.”
Minister Fernandez continued, “I hope that we can ensure that the MOU regarding the 6 new shelters can be signed-off as soon as possible. We remain committed to playing our part in this intergovernmental partnership that will expand our safety net for the vulnerable women and children, particularly in our rural areas.”
As is evidenced by the various partnerships in place in this region between various spheres of government and the NGO sector, only a whole of society approach can help curb the pressure we experience on our available services and resources. We need communities, and civil society organizations to work with Government to help alleviate the high levels of trauma and violence taking place in our communities.