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Western Cape Minister for Social Development urges parents and caregivers to be vigilant

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By Kouthar Sambo

As schools closed earlier this week for the year-end school holidays, the Western Cape Department of Social Development has called on parents and caregivers to be extra vigilant of children during this period, as many incidents have occurred on beaches and public spaces.

Speaking on VOC’s Sunday Live show earlier this morning, the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, said they are working very close with various faith-based organisations, NGOs, and municipalities who would normally organise holiday camps for children this time of the year.

“There is a development, which is called a budget cut, that prohibits us from expanding on that work. This is why the department has put out the call to say that parents who are with their children around bodies of water and busy places like shopping centers must be on high alert. We therefore urge parents to please take care of their children,” proclaimed Fernandez.

“School holidays have started, and not all children have the privilege of having their parents at home to keep an eye on them, so what happens to these children when their parents are not around in this busy period?” said Fernandez.

In a case where children are left unattended due to circumstances, explained Fernandez, it is always useful to ask the neighbour to keep an eye on the children if possible.

“I believe in the adage: It takes a community to raise a child, and sadly, in our society, we have become so desensitized to child murders. Parents need to be focused because it is insane on the beach, and this is where we all take responsibility for every single child.”

“Also, young children should not be going to bathrooms unattended since they could get molested, lost, or stolen,” Fernandez strongly cautioned.


Photo: Pexels

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