By Ragheema Mclean
The Western Cape Department of Social Development recently informed non-profit organizations about an impending reduction of conditional grants from the national government by R642.2 million for the upcoming year.
This announcement came just one day after the 16 days of activism campaign against gender-based violence ended on Sunday.
Director at the Ihata Shelter Nuran Osman, highlighted on the VOC Breakfast show that numerous small nonprofit organizations heavily rely on government funding.
She said, “There are multiple challenges with this. If we lose our funding it would force us to stop operating.”
Osman expressed deep concern over the potential closure of these organisations particularly in a country where gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide rates rank among the highest globally.
“We are already struggling to get convictions of perpetrators. What’s going to happen now when these safe spaces for women will have to close down.”
She painted a distressing picture of the aftermath if funding were lost, foreseeing widespread unemployment and the closure of numerous organizations dedicated to combating not only GBV, but child and elderly care as well.
“Where are we going to find money – the economy is already struggling on its own.”
“Our shelter may not be a beneficiaries of government funding come next year.”
Meanwhile, Osman also mentioned that they have received correspondence indicating the Western Cape government’s intention to contest the funding reduction through legal action and would appeal the decision in court.
“It’s a crisis, and this on the eve on the end of the financial year.”
“So literally we have three months to get our affairs in order and see what we can do to keep the doors open.”
“I believe that the work will continue, but I don’t also want to be naïve and run the organisation on a wish and a promise.”