Thursday 12 July 2018
The Child Care and Protection Policy could be approved by Cabinet next month, revealed Professor Roseline September from the Department of Social Development, during a Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) seminar at the Marlboro Community Centre in late June.
The draft policy has already gone through the process of consultation, with government departments, civil society and children participating throughout. This consultation process wrapped up last month with the draft being sent to cabinet for approval. The policy outlines how government plans to work with different stakeholder to protect children in the country.
“We have worked much closely [with Save the Children South Africa] with regards to the campaign against violence…you know that we have had the children’s act for more than 20 years now. But the children’s act has not been foregrounded by or with a comprehensive child care protection policy” said Professor September, adding that “because of that gap, we found it extremely difficult to take the amendments of the child care protection act to parliament, when we took the second amendments of the children’s act to parliament, parliament indicated to the Department of Social Development that you can’t come to parliament and cabinet with all these pieces of amendments and we don’t know what’s your policy position is on the caring and protection on children”.
Kim Baloyi, a 16-year-old girl from Alexandra, urged government to always involve children when coming up with possible solutions to issues affecting them. “Our country never consult children when taking decisions that affect children. And they don’t even consult us when they coming up with new policies. Children do matter, they should be consulted on decision around and about them. Give us the platform to help you develop ideas,” said Baloyi.
Morgan Mthembu, from the United States Agency for International Development, called for a multi-faceted approach in dealing with issues affecting children.
“We have to strengthen our institutions, we have to strengthen the policies that are in place. Not only that but to change the heart of people not only to realise that by denying children education, we are killing the country and we have no future. And that is why I take my hat off to Save the Children for the effort they put into education and other aspects and other spheres of the rights of the children. The biggest weakness in funding is that the period we make the money available to such organisations doesn’t take them to the stage of impact. We put money and we run, this has been through out,” he said.
SCSA’s Programme Director Gugu Xaba emphasised the need to strengthen partnerships in order to reach more children. She added that the organisation needs to do more to help the nation better understand the plight of children.
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