Nomdo said she was the only staff member, had a part-time personal assistant, and relied on support from the department of the premier. Picture: Supplied
Nomdo said she was the only staff member, had a part-time personal assistant, and relied on support from the department of the premier. Picture: Supplied

Concern over lack of resources for Children’s Commissioner

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Oct 14, 2020

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Cape Town - Political parties in the legislature have expressed concern over human resource constraints in the office of the provincial Children’s Commissioner.

This after Christina Nomdo addressed the standing committee on social development yesterday on progress made in setting up the office since she took up the position of the commissioner in June.

Nomdo indicated that the office did not have internet access or a telephone line. She said she was the only staff member, had a part-time personal assistant, and relied on support from the department of the premier.

Nomdo said the office was further hampered by the lockdown, and the recruitment process was delayed by a sign-off at national level.

However, she said she successfully engaged with and partnered with 35 government child monitors in the province, who she met weekly to develop training on the rights of children. Social media platforms had been launched to publicise activities of the office, and four interns had been recruited to provide necessary research support to the office.

EFF deputy chairperson Nosipho Makamba-Botya said: “One of the core mandates of the Children’s Commissioner is to ‘investigate’.

“It’s disappointing to discover that this office is not prioritised and capacitated enough to execute its mandate and responsibilities.”

A member of the ANC on the standing committee on social development, Rachel Windvogel, said it had become clear that the office had not received the necessary support to function optimally and effectively.

“The executive has to speed up the process to support the office of the commissioner through staffing and office equipment. We were taken through the needs of the office and we know that the staffing complement for the office will cost R8 million, which is way above the budget for the office.

“The premier and his executive must find ways to give the necessary support to the office, including the budget she needs to be effective in her work,” Windvogel said.

DA provincial spokesperson on social development Gillion Bosman called on the National Department of Public Service and Administration to provide “concurrence” for the Children’s Commissioner.

“As the province’s department of the premier has made available R8m for the current 2020/21 financial year, we now look forward to the national minister of Public Services and Administration’s concurrence for the commissioner’s organisational structure.

“Once this is received in line with legislative requirements, the commissioner may then begin the necessary recruitment and capacitation process with support from the provincial people management and branch strategic programmes,” Bosman said.

Cape Argus

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