Voice of the Cape

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‘Violence against children is a pandemic’, says incoming WCape child commissioner

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Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde announced that the appointment process for the Children’s Commissioner had been concluded as Christina Nomdo formally accepted the post last week. The child rights specialist Nomdo would officially take up office on 1 June 2020. Nomdo has worked with children in various positions for the better part of 30 years.

“I’ve served as a child librarian then as a youth development worker, I was formally introduced to children’s right, theory and practice at the institution of democracy in South Africa and since then that is when I found my passion and have been building on it ever since,” said Nomdo.

The Western Cape Commissioner of Children is sanctioned in terms of the Act to monitor, investigate, research, and educate the public about matters pertaining to children in the province.

Furthermore, the Commissioner must assist the provincial state in protecting and promoting the benefits of children, in particular in relation to health services, education, welfare services, recreation and amenities, and sport.

Nomdo who is from Belhar, Cape Town said she will need to apply herself to the best of her ability to be able to fulfil her duty as child commissioner.

“It is an institution that is meant to check whether government systems, programmes, and policies work in the interest of children so the powers range from monitoring, investigation, researching and advising and all that relates to support so government can fulfill the duties they have towards children,” explained Nomdo.

Nomdo detailed her priorities once she steps into office some two weeks from now.

“As the former director of RAPCAN [Resources Centre for Child Abuse], violence against children is on the top of my list. I have a scope of the violence that our youth are being subjected to. People need to understand that the violence can be prevented but it a societal responsibility,” said Nomdo.

Nomdo stated that before the coronavirus hit the shores of the Western Cape, 9% of children lived below the poverty line.

“Violence against children is a pandemic in the province,” stressed Nomdo.

COVID-19 and the regulations that have come with it has further exacerbated the situation of children and plunged them further into destitution.

“We have the largest percentage of children living in informal housing in the country. There are lots of challenges that children in the Western Cape face and more times than not they aren’t given the opportunity to reach their full potential,” ended Nomdo.

Premier Alan Winde has wished Nomdo well as she takes up her new post.

“The Children’s Commissioner is an incredibly important role, as the person is tasked with monitoring, researching, investigating, lobbying and reporting on children and their best interests. By accepting this post, Ms Nomdo not only makes history by becoming the first Children’s Commissioner in the country, but also becomes an advocate for children and a guardian of their rights.”

VOC


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