The commissioner made the recommendation in a newly released report after she conducted 14 community child rights’ workshops in the West Coast District last year. File picture: Phando Jikelo/Afircan News Agency
The commissioner made the recommendation in a newly released report after she conducted 14 community child rights’ workshops in the West Coast District last year. File picture: Phando Jikelo/Afircan News Agency

Child Commissioner: Apartheid legacies still evident, communities feeling ‘cut off’

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Mar 18, 2021

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Cape Town - The Western Cape Commissioner for Children (WCCC) Christina Nomdo has called on local government to assist with the involvement of parents and children in their integrated plans.

The commissioner made the recommendation in a newly released report after she conducted 14 community child rights’ workshops in the West Coast District last year.

The report gives insight into children's experiences and the impact of government’s service delivery in social development, education, sports, arts and culture, and health.

Nomdo said the quality of healthcare, lack of organised sports, educators' commitment to teaching and children’s inability to read were some of the concerns raised by the communities. She said children’s participation in shaping service provision was not commonly practised in the communities.

She said apartheid legacies were still evident in these communities and that certain communities described themselves as being “cut off” or “left behind”.

“It must be acknowledged that there are structural issues that resulted in the location and contexts of each of these communities. The second issue of concern is that none of these communities had a tarred access road and the geographical location of remote communities as well as the lack of adequate infrastructure and quality services, is a great disadvantage to the optimal development and fulfilment of rights of children,” she said.

Chairperson of the standing committee on social development Gillion Bosman said if the government was to plan for a safe, inclusive and prosperous future for the next generation, children's voices needed to be heard.

Molo Songololo director Patric Solomons said the commissioner's request for investigations was encouraging.

Solomons raised concerns about the commissioner’s capacity to engage in proper investigations into complaints and child rights violations.

“Building such capacity will be crucial. The commissioner must give priority to mobilise resources from the provincial government to do so. The WCCC cannot be a one-person show, it needs strong administrative, operational, monitoring, reporting and investigation capacity,” he said.

Nomdo said the findings would be presented to relevant departmental heads and that similar workshops would be held in other parts of the province.

Cape Argus

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