Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Legislature
Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng commemorated International Street Children’s Day in Soweto. This globally recognised day is used to highlight the rights of our children and to give them a voice.
The DA recognises the importance of facilities such as schools, day-care centres, orphanages and NGO’s that provide a safe environment for our children and help to keep them off the streets. However, we need to do more. The sight of children living on the streets of our Province is becoming all too familiar.
Key factors which contribute to high numbers of street children in South Africa include unstable family environments, poverty and crime. Each one of these problems needs to be tackled by innovative solutions as well as co-operation between government and the private sector.
For example, the DA-run Western Cape has opened a number of Mass Participation and Opportunity Development (MOD) centres across the Province. These centres are designed to provide young people with a place where they can play sport and attend skills development programmes after school. These centres have been very successful in keeping children off the street and preventing them from turning to drug or alcohol abuse.
We need to provide all our children, the future generations of our country, with socio-economic stability and a decent education. Only then will they be able to truly thrive and grow in the environment they all deserve.