Regulations governing the payment of interim reparations to people found by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be victims of gross violations of human rights have been approved by the Government.
The regulations, and a reparations application form, were published in the Government Gazette today. However, a number of other steps still need to be taken before victims and survivors will receive any reparations payments, such as printing of the prescribed forms and making it available to the declared victims of gross violations.
Interim reparations are one-time payments that will be given to victims or their dependants who have suffered hardship and are in need. They will normally be a maximum of R2,000 and are aimed at helping victims to gain access to services such as medical care. They are designed to provide limited assistance while the Government and Parliament are discussing their final decision on reparations, which is likely to be taken only after the TRC has handed in its final report on July 31.
However, the payments cannot be made until a finding has been made on a statement made to the TRC by a victim or survivor. The Commission's Human Rights Violations Committee is now in the process of corroborating each of the 20,000 statements it has received. It has made findings on more than 11,000 statements so far and aims to complete the rest by the end of May.
Within the next few weeks, those found to be victims will begin to receive letters through the post which include reparations application forms. Those who have made statements to us are urged not to rush to TRC offices, but to wait until they have received their finding and the accompanying application form.
Applications for reparation will be considered by the TRC's Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee. If a victim has suffered hardship and is in particular need, the committee will forward the applications to the President's Fund, the body set up to make reparations payments.