Kids’ home bosses challenge minister’s criticisms

2010-10-15 00:00

EKUJABULENI children’s home managers and staff members have taken exception to the allegation — levelled by the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini — that they provided inadequate care for the children,

Dlamini, who is on a provincial tour assessing the performance of non-government organisations, expressed concern on Tuesday about the state of the home. Her visit followed a private tour of the Edendale facility at Christmas, where she said she discovered there was inadequate security inside the children’s living quarters, poor hygiene and poor staff attendance.

She berated the management, saying the situation was tantamount to secondary abuse of the children.

The management of the home said yesterday in a letter to the Witness, that they had always provided proper care.

Bonakele Mkhize, chairperson of the home, said the staff and the director “have always been loving and caring to the children”.

“… the conditions of the home have never been appalling and it has always been complimented by visitors on its good condition”, said Mkhize.

She said they would like to invite the members of the public to visit the home frequently and comment on its state and condition.

Her comments were echoed by a member of the public who wrote on the Witness website that she believes Dlamini’s concerns are not legitimate.

“I have worked very closely with the organisation and disagree with how they have been represented.

“I know the director and staff to be very loving and personally involved in the children’s lives.

“In terms of poor staff attendance, it’s Christmas holidays, most children are away They are usually left with about 10 children during this period, thus staff is able to take leave; you can’t expect a full team.

“I have never seen the home in an appalling state, considering it was December holidays; the deputy minister would have had issues getting access as it was a surprise visit … they don’t just open for anyone,” she said.

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