Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma says employers must check the National Child Protection Register before hiring people to work with children.
This is to safeguard children abuse by those who have been convicted for crimes against children.
“There are 441 persons who have been found to be unsuitable to work with children in the past financial year, who are in this register. Let us protect children from further abuse,” said President Zuma.
The President made the call during the International Children’s Day celebrations on Wednesday at Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.
Addressing the community, President Zuma said government is working hard to address the scourge of child abuse, neglect and exploitation of women and children. Government established the National Child Protection Register in terms of Chapter 7 of the Children’s Act of 2005.
Contact numbers that can be used are: Social Development: 0800 60 10 11; Police Emergency Line: 10 111 and Child Line: 0800 05 55 5.
Cabinet has also established the Inter-Ministerial Committee, which is led by the Department of Social Development, to combat violence against women and children.
The department has set up the 24-hour Gender Based Violence Command Centre, which counsels and supports survivors of abuse and violence.
“The South African Police Service is under standing orders to act swiftly against those who abuse women and children. All our law enforcement agencies are also responding well and the conviction rates for perpetrators of crimes against women and children are encouraging,” said President Zuma.
Learners get uniform
During the event, President Zuma, accompanied by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Gauteng Premier David Makhura and City of Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, handed over complete school uniforms to 150 learners from around Atteridgeville schools.
Malebo Maubane, whose seven-year-old daughter from Seaparankwe Primary School was among the recipients, thanked government for the intervention.
“I bought a second-hand school uniform since I didn’t have enough for a brand new uniform. These set of school uniforms came with everything including jerseys, shoes and socks… something I couldn’t afford to buy since I’m unemployed. I’m so happy and I thank government for thinking about us,” said an emotional Maubane.
Earlier in the day, President Zuma visited and officially opened a media centre at the Kingdom Life Children’s Centre. The centre is a home for orphaned and abused children.
About International Children’s Day
International Children’s Day is observed annually on 1 June around the world to honour children’s rights, as per the proclamation of the 1925 World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland.
In South Africa, the day coincides with Child Protection Week, which this year is observed from 29 May until 5 June under the theme ‘Let Us All Protect Children to Move South Africa Forward’.
June 1 also marked the beginning of Youth Month, which is very significant this year as it is the 40th anniversary of the 16 June 1976 student uprisings.