JOHANNESBURG – Vodacom has pledged R10 million to fund a private sector-led, multi-sectoral Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Response Fund 1 to support the implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP), and the wider GBVF response in the country.
Pioneered by the International Women’s Forum South Africa (IWFSA) and the Presidency in collaboration with several strategic partners, the GBVF Response Fund 1 is the brainchild of a resolution of the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Declaration, which followed the 2018 GBVF Summit and is aimed at finding sustainable solutions to ending the scourge of GBV in South Africa.
Takalani Netshitenzhe, External Affairs Director for Vodacom South Africa said: “We are delighted about the launch of the GBVF Response Fund 1 as it is going to help the private sector collaborate closely with the public sector to end the scourge of Gender-Based Violence in South Africa. As pioneers in the use of technology in the fight against GBV, at Vodacom we have always believed that fighting GBV requires a coordinated approach and partnership between government, civil society and business. Accordingly, we welcome President Cyril Ramaphosa’s bold vision and plans to look at tackling the scourge of GBV. We will use the R10 million we have pledged for programmes identified by the GBVF Response Fund 1.”
Vodacom’s R10 million pledge will go towards the implementation of Pillars 4 and 5 of the NSP on GBVF, covering areas such as response, care, survivor support and healing and economic empowerment. Gender-Based violence in South Africa is unprecedented. According to the latest GBV research, one in four women will experience violence by men and are five times more likely to be killed. A woman is murdered every four hours in South Africa.
Vodacom's GBV programmes focus on prevention, response and victim empowerment. Response is through the GBV Command Centre in Pretoria and victim support is through digital literacy we provide in the shelters for survivors of GBV.
Over and above the R10 million pledge, Vodacom spends just over R15 million per annum on programmes focusing on GBV and gender empowerment. This includes support for the GBV Command Centre, ICT training for survivors, and Bright Sky, our newly launched GBV education and resource mobile app that was launched in November 2020 and has been zero-rated along with all the referral websites on the app. President Cyril Ramaphosa appealed to all South Africans including the private sector to respond to the GBVF Respond Fund 1 and to allocate the resources required for a national strategy.
"As a partner of government and civil society organisations that champion the rights of women and children, it is our firm belief that the pledges will go a long way towards ending GBV in the country, a social ill of our time that has started reversing the strides made in gender equality since the dawning of our democracy 27 years ago," concluded Netshitenzhe.