BUDGET VOTES Vote 20: Women Youth and Persons with Disabilities

Hon. MN Nxumalo, MP
22 July 2020

Dear Honourable Members, in the words of President Ramaphosa “…we find ourselves in the midst of not one, but two, devastating epidemics”.

In managing the economic consequences of Covid-19 – we above all – need to ensure that the State’s response to the epidemic of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide is not undermined.

Honourable Members, on consideration of the budgetary adjustments relating to Budget Vote 20, the IFP recognises that Covid-19 has placed an immense constraint on our public resources, and we in general support the budgetary adjustments.

However, we need to ensure that every precaution is taken to limit waste and that accountability is enforced. We have seen in the past how the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities has failed to spend its Budget on key programmes – and has been slow in filling vacancies.

In the midst of the fight against Covid-19, the stakes are simply too high to allow these important objectives to be undermined by poor performance.

On consideration of the budgetary adjustments, the IFP is concerned about the impact of the reprioritisation of funds on awareness-raising about the Department’s core programmes, especially in reaching vulnerable communities that lack access to digital technology.

One of the key interventions in terms of the recently published National Strategic Plan on Gender Based Violence and Femicide, involves “eliminating the impact of the economic drivers of GBV on all women”. One of the means identified to do this “is to raise awareness of women’s unpaid labour and initiate interventions…”.

The Department has to take the lead on this activity. This important objective, however, cannot simply be undermined in the face of Covid-19.

We support the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities’ recommendation that the Department should develop a strategy on how to reach these vulnerable sections of the population living in rural areas, and communicate in languages used in these areas.

In conclusion, in light of the latest surge in horrendous GBV cases, the IFP believes that the Supplementary Budget should have reflected the State’s commitment to fight GBV and Femicide.

Now more than ever, there is also an urgent need for the establishment of the National Council on GBV and Femicide.

The IFP remains committed to monitoring developments in this regard carefully and will not be a passive bystander in the fight against the pandemic of GBV and Femicide raging in our country.

The IFP supports the Budget.

I thank you.

Hon. MN Nxumalo, MP
072 819 5153