Government not doing enough to protect our children

Karen de Kock, MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson of Social Development

The Democratic Alliance is shocked and saddened by reports of the rape of a seven year old boy by a cleaner at a primary school in Warrenton.

Children are the most vulnerable members of our society and the Bill of Rights makes specific provisions for and places a clear obligation on society and government to protect them from harm and abuse. The ongoing scourge of violence against children, however, is evidence that government is not doing nearly enough to protect our children and casts doubt on the effectiveness of institutional mechanisms in the criminal justice system to deal with the detection, prevention and prosecution of sexual offences committed against children, or the rehabilitation and reintegration of such sexual offenders.

Nationally, government could start fighting this scourge by getting the Child Protection Register working so that our children, especially those who are vulnerable and abused, are protected from the atrocities of violence, abuse and neglect. This register is an important tool for keeping our children safe and it should be used to prevent sexual predators from having easy access to children.

Meanwhile, on a provincial level, government can start by implementing the long overdue anti-rape strategy. At the same time, the province should establish a violence prevention hub, which will provide professional services to women and children affected by violence, and offering rehabilitation services, support for both victims and offenders and engaging in the concepts of femininity and masculinity. This hub could also serve to better monitor and coordinate programmes already in pace.

Protecting the children of South Africa is a priority for the DA. We firmly believe that government needs to demonstrate that it is equally serious about the safety and well-being of the children of our country.