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Minister Lindiwe Zulu Won't Resign Amid GBV Funds Controversy

Published March 12, 2024
2 months ago

South Africa's Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, has made it clear that she will not step down due to allegations concerning the non-distribution of vital funds earmarked for gender-based violence (GBV) programs. The controversy involves an unallocated sum of R100 million from the Criminal Asset Recovery Account (CARA), intended to aid survivors of gender-based violence and femicide. This development surfaced following written parliamentary questions posed by Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Bridget Masango.

In the midst of the fallout, Zulu responded emphatically, stating, "No, I do not intend to resign over unfounded allegations peddled in the media." The minister disputed the accusations and provided her stance on the operational status of the GBV Command Centre and the employment security of social workers.

Zulu's stance comes against the backdrop of heightened public concern over the efficiency and effectiveness of the government in addressing the escalating issue of gender-based violence in the country. The alleged failure of distribution of the CARA funds raises questions about the department's commitment to supporting survivors and the various organizations that play a crucial role in providing aid.

However, the minister shed light on the due diligence exercised by the National Development Agency (NDA) in the disbursement of these funds. Over 300 civil society organizations have received funding as part of the implementation of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. A total of 22 organizations had their funding put on hold by the NDA board due to breaches in the funding agreement, which the NDA is further investigating.

Lindiwe Zulu reinforced that these actions were a display of the NDA's commitment to protecting public funds in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act. Furthermore, she reassured that the GBV Command Centre remains fully operational, and to her knowledge, no social workers have been terminated from their roles.

The department’s handling of the CARA funds and the operational dynamics of the GBV Command Centre will continue to be closely scrutinized both by the parliamentary opposition and the public eye. With Zulu's refusal to resign, the pressure is on for the department to transparently and effectively manage these sensitive resources for the benefit of gender-based violence survivors.

As this story evolves, the community looks forward to actionable steps and measurable progress, while those in positions of power, like Minister Lindiwe Zulu, bear the responsibility of upholding the integrity and purpose of their roles.

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