The civil rights organisation AfriForum lodged a formal complaint for unfair racial discrimination perpetrated by the GBVF Response Fund1 and Tshikululu Social Investments, due to their discrimination against the TEARS Foundation with their funding criteria. AfriForum is acting on behalf of the TEARS Foundation, a non-profit organisation which has been at the forefront of the South African response to sexual- and gender-based violence since 2012.
In their application process for funding from the organisations mentioned, TEARS was asked to identify the population group or racial identity of the directors, and to submit a broad based-black economic empowerment certificate or affidavit. The application process solely makes provision for the following population group categories: African, Coloured, Foreign National and Other. These stringent racial categories serve as a clear barrier for TEARS to seek funding.
TEARS firmly submits that excluding certain population groups from applying through the application form not only grossly offends the constitutional tenets of equality and non-racialism, but it evidently fails to take cognisance of the fact that the majority of the assistance that our client provides goes towards the most vulnerable South Africans who happen to be, in the vast majority of instances, black.
“The extent of race-obsession in South Africa is demonstrated in this case where an organisation which fights gender-based violence is barred from receiving funding because they do not meet BEE requirements. It is indicative of the racially discriminatory environment which the ANC has excused, fostered, and encouraged through its racial agenda and policies. It is shameful,” says Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for strategy and content at AfriForum.