Justice gives feedback on donor funded projects
In strengthening partnership and sustaining relations with its partners, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development hosted its 3rd Annual Donor Conference in Pretoria this week.
The two-day conference, held at the Southern Sun Hotel on 27-28 November, sought to provide development partners with feedback on completed and existing projects undertaken by the department, under the Donor Co-ordination Directorate.
Outlining the purpose of the conference, the department’s Chief Operations Officer, Dr Khotso De Wee said; “The objectives of this conference is to solicit assistance for the unfunded departmental priorities from development partners and to foster and promote sound relations by raising awareness on the progress made by the department in ensuring aid effectiveness.”
The meeting was attended by the current and potential donors from the embassies of Belgium, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, the European Union and the United States Agency of International Development (USAID).
Delivering a key note address on behalf of Minister Jeff Radebe, the department’s Director-General, Ms Nonkululeko Sindane stressed that the minister’s presence would have not just been to present his review on the relationship the department has had with the funding community, but also the enormous assistance received from the donor community to fill in the cracks in the justice system.
“The minister appreciates the role played by the donor agencies and their aid which constantly play a critical role in furthering the national development of the justice system,” said Ms Sindane.
Mr Robin Toli, Chief Director responsible for the International Development Cooperation at the National Treasury, presented statistics on South Africa’s role in the emerging development cooperation landscape. “Over 50% of the South African population lives below the poverty line and our country is surrounded by most marginalised poor countries, resulting to the highest number of immigrants in the Southern region. This is why SA needs funding from donors,” explained Mr Toli.
In her presentation, Strategy Chief Director, Ms Lebo Mphahlele-Ntsasa, indicated that the department has a broad legislative mandate including the protection of vulnerable groups. “One of the key issues is that our budget is not enough to ensure that there is adequate security services to protect people, properties and judicial officers,” she said, adding that the department’s seven point plan in strengthening the criminal justice system indicates that, with more funding from donors, the department will be able to efficiently deliver services whilst continuing to focus on the promotion and protection of rights of vulnerable groups.
One of the Democracy and Governance Officer from the USAID, Ms Paul Van Dyk highlighted the 15 year old relationship between the department and the USAID, saying; “Our relationship has always been satisfactory hence we are still working together and one of our most successful projects with the department has been the establishment and increasing number of the Thuthuzela Care Centres around the country.”In response to the unfunded priority projects that were raised as areas of concern during the gathering, the European Union representative, Mr Richard Young announced that the EU will donate € 19.66 billion which will be used on geographic, thematic and Pan-African programmes.
By Mosima Mashao
Published: 29 November 2013