Safety put in the spotlight

2016-10-12 06:00
TEN families received food hampers during the launch of Social Services Month. From the left are the couple Johannes Motome and Lettie Douw (who received a food hamper), Gift van Staden (MEC of Northern Cape Social Development) and Ikabod Manyana (acting head of the department at Social Development).  Photo: Boipelo Mere

TEN families received food hampers during the launch of Social Services Month. From the left are the couple Johannes Motome and Lettie Douw (who received a food hamper), Gift van Staden (MEC of Northern Cape Social Development) and Ikabod Manyana (acting head of the department at Social Development). Photo: Boipelo Mere

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A CALL has been made for a partnership between men, women and traditional leaders to work together to reduce practices that are harmful to women and children.

The partnership will, according to the Northern Cape MEC of Social Development, Gift van Staden, ensure ideal freedom for all citizens to live in a constitutional democracy in this country.

The MEC emphasised how violence against women and children were acts of criminality that erode the soul and vibrancy of communities and society.

Van Staden was commenting on the recent crime statistics reports which indicate that there has been a general decline in all major forms of violent crimes, except for the crimes against women and children, which remain stubbornly high.

“The crime statistics is a reminder that we need to redouble our efforts to protect women and children,” the MEC said.

Van Staden spoke out during the launch of Social Development Month during October. He promised to reach out and meet and interact with members of the community.

He said his department will continue to intensify its efforts in improving its communication and to assess ways to improve their well-being.

Elaborating on government’s commitment to reduce high levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment, Van Staden promised that they will identify challenges and put together action plans to deal with it.

Taking place at the Galeshewe-based Sinothando Child and Youth Care Centre, the campaign was held in conjunction with the National Development Agency (NDA) and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), where communities were informed on communication channels on the various social security programmes available and how to access them.

He called on society to act as one to prevent violence by challenging the attitudes and behaviours which foster it and intervene as early as possible to prevent it.

He said there were measures to ensure the protection of senior citizens, including the promulgation of the Older Persons Act.

“We are concerned by the extent of the vulnerability, abuse and neglect of our senior citizens,” he said.

Touching on the issue of Early Childhood Development (ECD), Van Staden said that tackling child poverty through early childhood development is an economic necessity, because it is about improving the life of children from poor communities.

“It also has benefits to the wider society, as we all benefit when families and communities become stronger and cohesive.”

Quoting that 20 800 children throughout the province benefit from 401 ECD centres, he pledged continuous support towards the initiative.

“In our effort to make ECD services a reality in rural areas, we will intensify our ECD mobile services to reach an additional 2 835 children,” he promised.

He raved about the partnership between the department and the National Lottery Fund that has resulted in the funding of 11 ECD centres to the tune of R40 million for infrastructure.

We need to redouble our
efforts to
protect women and children

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