South Africa’s private sector and the donor community have pledged US$5 million after President Cyril Ramaphosa launched a private sector-led multi-sectoral Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Response Fund, APA learnt on Friday.Making the initial contributions were mining giant Anglo-American with US$3.5 million, ABSA Bank which pitched in US$1.3 million, and a US$1.3 million contribution by the Ford Foundation, records show.
The GBVF fund was established to support the country’s implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) and its wider response to fight the scourge nationwide, according to Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) chief executive Cas Coovadia.
Launching fund, both business and donor communities commended Ramaphosa for leading the effort to end GBVF in the country, adding that they would raise more contributions to fund activities meant to end GBVF.
During the virtual launch, Coovadia said GBVF was a critical issue which needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
“We need to look at GBV within the context of other gender-based injustices in our country and the world, including issues of equity for women and patriarchy that still persists, not just in South Africa, but in the entire world,” Coovadia said.
BUSA was committed to promote the fund’s initiative with its members, and to work with government and other stakeholders, to ensure that they had various methods of communications with members to raise funding for the work on GBVF, he said.
“We all appreciate that we are living in a difficult time, with the Covid-19 pandemic having a significant impact on our economy.
“But this is an issue that we need to ensure that we promote, and BUSA is committed to work to promote it with our members,” Coovadia said.
BUSA would also ensure that its members introduced measures to identify and deal with GBVF in the workplace, he added.
“We need to identify, we need to deal with it and, ultimately, we need to eradicate it in the workplaces,” the chief executive said.