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The Democratic Alliance (DA) will submit parliamentary questions to the Minister of Woman, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to explain why some of the cars donated by BMW and handed over by the German government in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) is gathering dust.
This was revealed during an oversight inspection by the DA’s members on the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities yesterday to the Mzamo Child Guidance and Training Initiative in KwaZulu-Natal which was one of the recipients of a BMW i3s. These BMWs were part of a range donated to the South African government. The official handover of the fleet was done by dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, in order to assist with the fight against GBV and femicide.
We found the BMW was handed over to Mzamo in October last year, but the license subsequently expired in November 2020. The official handover of the vehicle only took place in February 2020. The vehicle that was given to Mzamo was found sitting in a garage and is collecting dust. It has only 348 km on the clock and we were told the only time this car has been driven was when they went to collect the car and brought it back to Mzamo’s facilities.
The DA has three concerns:
• Firstly, why has the licensing and the registration of the vehicle taken so long? It is as if there is no priority to ensure that this car indeed assist in the job of curbing GBV and femicide.
• Secondly, we found out that these cars were meant to be given to the South African Business Coalition on Health and Aids (SABCOHA), but was then given to Right to Care without giving an explanation from the Minister in the Presidency for that matter. The car is now just standing there and it is not being utilized.
Even though it is important to provide these cars to organizations that need it, the mandate and the reason the cars are donated, is to assist in the fight against GBV and femicide. The DA was not convinced that was the case.
We visited a Thuthuzela Care Centre before we came to Mzamo and they told us that they don’t even have one car to assist with victims of the rural areas to bring them to their care centers. People are spending their social grant money – R120 per trip – to come and report GBV and sexual assault.
This is a massive problem. These cars are meant to service places like the Thuthuzela Care Centre, but yet it has been given to organisations that don’t necessarily deal with GBV and femicide and this is concerning to the DA.
• Thirdly, ensuring that accountability and transparency is not being done. The fact that Right to Care has taken ownership of these BMW’s is concerning because Parliament does not have information and finding information is very difficult.
The DA will be asking official questions to Minister Nkoana-Mashabane on the role of Right to Care and how they were given this responsibility to manage and facilitate the handing out of the BMW’s.
We will continue our national tour and conduct spot checks in other provinces to make sure these BMWs are being used correctly for its intended purpose and ensuring they are being used in the fight against GBV and femicide.
Issued by The DA