Know your Minister
All victims of human rights violations who were declared eligible for reparation during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) can claim their once-off payment of R30 000.
The TRC identified 21 769 people as victims of human-rights violations. Of the total identified victims, 16 837 applied for reparations. By May 2010, 15 956 beneficiaries had been paid once-off grants of R30 000 as a final reparation.
There were 881 outstanding beneficiaries. Of these, 219 were deceased and the President’s Fund was attempting to establish their rightful next of kin. Government continues to search for the remaining beneficiaries.
The President’s Fund was established in accordance with the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act and regulations outlined by the President.
The fund is located within the Office of the Chief Financial Officer in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. The department has experienced difficulties tracing some of the beneficiaries because of incorrect or changed addresses, or in some cases where the victims had died.
According to the regulations the payment of the final reparation is limited to people who appeared before or made statements to the TRC and were declared eligible for reparations.
Next of kin
It is important to note that as this process has been concluded, no new applications will be considered.
In instances where the listed beneficiary has died, the rightful next-of-kin should apply for payment. They should, however, be aware that their relationship would have to be verified to avoid unlawful payments.
The TRC was dissolved in March 2002 by a proclamation in the Government Gazette. The TRC made recommendations to government in respect of reparations to victims and measures to prevent the future violation of human rights and abuses.
Four categories of recommendations were approved by government in June 2003 for implementation.
- Final reparations: the provision of a once-off individual grant of R30 000 to individual TRC-identified victims.
- Symbols and monuments: Academic and formal records of history, cultural and art forms, as well as erecting symbols and monuments to exalt the freedom struggle, including new geographic and place names.
- Medical benefits and other forms of social assistance: Education assistance, provision of housing and other forms of social assistance to address the needs of TRC-identified victims
- Community rehabilitation: Rehabilitating whole communities that were subject to intense acts of violence and destruction and which are still in distress.
How to claim
To claim, beneficiaries must visit a regional office of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development with their identity documents and proof of their banking details. If the listed beneficiary has died, their rightful next-of-kin can claim, but must show their identity documents and the beneficiary’s death certificate.
Once the rightful next-of-kin has been confirmed, payment can be made. Where more than one person qualifies as the rightful next-of-kin, the money is divided between them.
Beneficiaries may forward their claim through the post or send a fax, but must attach certified documents. Payments are deposited electronically into beneficiaries’ bank accounts.