15 February 2021 - NW76
Msimang, Prof CT to ask the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
In light of the fact that the Thuthuzela project is led by the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority, in partnership with various departments and donors, what is the progress on the five Thuthuzela care centres that were earmarked to be operational by March 2021; (2) in light of the fact that due to the mandatory COVID-19 shutdown, the number of victims that Thuthuzela care centres rendered services to decreased by 36,8% in comparison to 2019-20 quarter one reports, and in the event of a second wave of COVID-19 infections, what (a) measures and/or plans have been put in place to ensure that centres remain operational and the public is informed and/or aware of the operations and (b) are the full details of the (i) estimated budget allocation and (ii) implementation targets?
1. The Sexual Offences and Community Affairs (SOCA) Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is currently focusing on the establishment of six (6) Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) sites, instead of five (5). Despite the lockdown regulations that hampered finalisation of the tender process, the process of selecting sites was finalised with stakeholders, and the procurement of park homes (where required) is on schedule. The refurbishment process of the park homes and health facilities was unfortunately also hampered by the lockdown restrictions but is currently on-track. We are working with relevant stakeholders to ensure that these sites become operational by March 2021.
2. TCCs are based at health care facilities so that the TCC services remain accessible to victims. During Alert Level 5 lockdown, everyone was confined due to the Disaster Management Regulations, and the staff was required to work on rotational basis to ensure continued service delivery to victims. The TCCs have been acknowledged as an essential service and to this end, TCCs sites remained open during the period of lockdown.
It is noted that in the first months of lockdown, the number of matters reported decreased, however as the lockdown levels were lifted and public awareness initiatives were implemented by the SOCA Unit during August and September 2020, we specifically noted an increase in the number of matters reported at the TCCs sites during this period. In Quarter 2 of the current financial year, 7 336 matters were reported at TCCs sites, which is a 45.2% increase from Quarter 1 when 5 050 matters were reported.
Various forms of editorial media engagements, including national and local radio and TV stations, webinars, community events and social media platforms are utilised to inform communities regarding related services at the TCCs sites, thus there are no budget implications. The current 55 operational sites are covered in the NPA voted funds.