CITY OF CAPE TOWN
7 OCTOBER 2022
STATEMENT BY MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY, ALDERMAN JP SMITH
Animal Welfare should not be stripped of funding opportunities
The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) has chosen to exclude animal welfare as a priority for funding in 2022/2023 – a decision that will devastate the animal welfare sector and the hundreds of animals they work to protect and rehabilitate.
I am aware that the animal welfare organisations in South Africa already carry a very heavy load on behalf of government as they receive extremely limited funding and rely almost entirely on donations and the kind support of the public.
While the City of Cape Town has contributed just over R13 million over the last two years, we realise that this is a fraction of what the sector needs to not only survive, but be able to respond meaningfully to the increasing challenges presented to animal welfare.
The recent decision by the NLC to withdraw any funding opportunities for animal welfare will have a serious, life threatening impact on the lives of domestic and other animals who desperately rely on that funding to survive in a world that has already abandoned and rejected them.
During 2020/2021 the NLC contributed towards funding for 10 animal welfare organisations to the value of R4.6 million.
With its recent decision to revoke funding altogether, it means that in 2022/2023 the same organisations will have R4.6 million less to work with which means that far less can be done to assist in the care and wellbeing of the animals in the communities they serve.
While one can understand the decision to prioritise other sectors also in need, it simply is not good enough to abandon the animal welfare sector altogether. Social and environmental justice is a balancing act we must always work towards. There is no justice if we prioritise one group over another.
It is common cause that animal welfare impacts on the health of communities. SA needs to consider the international standards as suggested in the World Health Organisation’s “One Health” Policy in which the health of the entire community must be considered together.
Excluding animal health systems from community upliftment defeats this outcome. Sickly and unhealthy animals, left without health services, have an immediate knock-on effect on the overall standard of community health.
At the very least, can the NLC allocate limited funds to those registered NGOs who operate mobile clinics in these areas and fund the purchase of parasite control medications. By the time we get to the end of 2023, we will be seeing increased parasitic infestations and have no funding available to treat the situation.
The NLC need to allow the animal welfare sector the opportunity to apply for funding in a competitive process as it had done in previous years.
I echo words of the chairperson of the Cape Animal Welfare Forum, for which I serve as their patron, that the Lottery funding is a lifeline for many of these organisations.
I urge the NLC to reconsider their decision for the next budget cycle so that the funding they can allocate, reaches a variety of organisations more equitably. Not only should they reconsider but they should ensure increased support next year to compensate for the losses suffered this year.
Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town
Media enquiries: Alderman JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1311 or Cell: 083 675 3780, Email: email@example.com (please always copy firstname.lastname@example.org)