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Baitul Ansaar Childcare Centre receives title deed

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Following an uphill battle, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille handed over a title deed to the Baitul Ansaar Childcare Centre in Beacon Valley. The centre is the largest such facility in Cape Town taking care of children at risk and providing them with safe accommodation. Addressing guests at the official handover on Thursday, the Mayor said the City of Cape Town has recently accelerated its programme to hand over title deeds to residents who have been renting properties for many years in order to empower residents through property ownership.

The centre caters for children from the Mitchell Plain and Khayelitsha area and due to the lack of space, had to turn away many children who are risk. De Lille said the staff battled with tough circumstances and had no choice but to expand the home to accommodate more children. The centre is currently in its 10th year of operation.

“There is a great need for children who need protection from abuse circumstances and for so many years, Baitul Ansaar had asked the City for land to expand the facility and take on more kids. They often had the heart-breaking task where they were so full they had to turn children away. After various legislative processes, rezoning and getting public comment, now finally the City has transferred a piece of a land to the centre, which will able them to expand the centre,” she said.

Bushra Razak signs the title deed

As the country observes Child Protection Week, the Mayor has highlighted the important work that the Baitul Ansaar Childcare Centre does in caring for children. The director Baitul Ansaar Childcare Centre, Bushra Razak said the centre is the largest child and youth care centre and takes children and infants between 0-12 years-old. They provide immediate and long-term and accommodation for these children.

“Our facility provides residential care for 42 children between birthday and 12-years-old at any given time. Our children have experienced various degrees of abuse, abandonment and neglect. This is due to poverty stricken and under resource communities,” explained Razak.

“We have started to think of how children land up with us. We are thinking about early interventions. We realised that we have to have a better look at the home. About a year ago, we did a survey on 100 homes in our area and we recorded really important questions, financial and food included,” she said.

Razak explained the results and how oblivious she was with her surroundings. According to the centre’s statistics, there are about 14 people living in one house hold to the combined average salary of R8000 per month.

“The results explained that parents cannot often look after their children, not because they don’t want to but they can’t afford it. We then realised we need to look at this from a different angle; almost every house old could not look after the elderly and their children. We then taught them how to create an income, to prevent them from not being without food,” she said.

They now have a community paper from the hundred families called The Beacon Times. The community pays for all its projects by points, by giving their time and services.

Patricia De Lille is handed over a painting from the children

The mayor explained in 2011 the City started the process in in terms of the MFMA’s Municipal Assets Transfer Regulations and embarked on the required legislative process to facilitate the disposal of this City-owned land. For this reason, the mayor said that the city conveyancers did their ownership transfers application at the Deeds Office on the 23 March 2018.

She explained how frustrated she was at the process and that she felt it’s her duty to help the help the centre have the space to assist the children.

“Anyone that knows me knows that I have a special place in my heart for children. Children are a gift from God and they must be treasured, loved and nurtured. Unfortunately, we live in a sick society where children are not held in the highest regard as they should be. Every day we hear of children being hurt and killed in the most gruesome ways and it is an indictment on all of us that this happens. It is inconceivable that these heinous crimes and attacks on our children take place and that places like this centre should even exist,” she explained. VOC

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