From left to right: Kathy Baxter SPAR South Africa Group Project Manager, Adv Bonnie Currie – Gamwo, Special Director of Public Prosecutions: SOCA, Charmaine Hansen, Atlantis Thuthuzela Care Centre and Genevieve Devereux, National TCC Coordinator.Download image
This unique collaboration between the private sector and the government, in the fight against gender-based violence in South Africa, was announced at a launch at the Wesfleur Hospital in Atlantis, where participating stakeholders were in attendance.
“What makes it really significant, is that it is an ongoing commitment,” said Bonnie Currie-Gamwo, Special Director of Public Prosecutions: SOCA, when accepting the donation. This marks our first historic collaboration with the private sector. As a collective, we are coming together to end sexual and gender-based violence. South Africa has one of the highest levels of GBV in the world, and this collaboration embodies bold leadership, initiative, and joint accountability in giving victims the dignity they deserve.”
Kathy Baxter, SPAR Group Project Manager for Strategy, Risk and Compliance said that the donation was a practical and meaningful way of fulfilling a most basic need in the process of giving back a violated person’s dignity.
“By donating monthly parcels to TCC’s across the country, people who visit the TCCs in need of assistance can be provided a comforting meal and basic toiletries to help restore some basic human rights and dignity,” she said.
In September 2019, SPAR South Africa launched its END GENDer-Based Violence initiative, in which it pledged to take practical steps toward ending GBV and Femicide in South Africa.
SPAR has partnered with LifeLine South Africa to strengthen their GBV call centre infrastructure and improve counselling capacity, in order to assist anyone who needs to reach out for counselling at any time.
SPAR has been working with the NPA on various initiatives since 2019 but the main focus will be providing food parcels to the Care Centres. These centres, based at government hospitals, provide a dedicated team which includes medical staff, social workers, police officers and prosecutors. They aim to provide sensitised care to victims of gender-based violence while also increasing the rate of GBV crimes reported and prosecuting such crimes. Their work in this area is bearing fruit as, of the cases taken to court which emanated from these centres, the NPA has achieved a remarkable 76.5 % conviction rate, significantly higher than the national rate for all GBV crimes.
“Our commitment to the NPA and other organisations speaks to our values and to our purpose as a company. Our purpose is to inspire people to do and be more,” said Kevin O’Brien, SPAR Group Risk and Sustainability Executive.
Source: SPAR South Africa
Read more about SPAR in South Africa.
SPAR South Africa was established in 1963. It operates four retail formats: SPAR, SPAR Express (operated in conjunction with Shell as a petrol forecourt store), KWIKSPAR (which focuses on convenience in city centres and high footfall locations), and SUPERSPAR (similar to EUROSPAR in offer).
South Africa was the first country outside Europe to join the SPAR organisation. The SPAR Group Ltd South Africa grants sub-licences to independent retailers to operate stores under one of the four formats, with almost all the current store portfolio being independently owned.