What to do if a loved one goes missing
Cape Town- Missing Children SA's case load has been increasing annually as more people are reported missing.
The organisation works closely with police and other government bodies, NGOs and private initiatives to assist in the recovery and safe return of any missing person.
According to the Missing Persons Bureau, a child goes missing every five hours in South Africa.
To make sure your child is safe this festive season, the bureau advised:
* Make an effort to know your child’s friends, their names, addresses, and have their contact details.
* Don’t let your child play alone in the street.
* Point out landmarks such as hospitals and police stations in case they get lost.
For the sixth consecutive year, the Western Cape followed Gauteng in having the most number of children reported missing.
The latest stats show that between December last year and August this year, 53 children were reported missing in the Western Cape, of which 48 were found.
In Gauteng 54 children were reported missing, of which 43 were found.
The report revealed that 59.8 percent of missing cases were for unknown reasons; 36.5 percent were runaways; 0.5 percent were kidnapped; 2 percent were as a result of parental abduction; and 0.2 percent were due to human trafficking.
Missing Children SA national co-ordinator Rose MacKinnon said although human trafficking was suspected to be a phenomenon, there was no hard proof.
“We are sure more cases reported to SAPS as well as to our organisation are because of human trafficking, but at this stage it cannot be proven.
If your relative goes missing:
* Do not wait 24 hours to report the person missing.
* Call Missing Children SA on 072 647 7464 and give the name of the missing person; the circumstances surrounding the disappearance; a case number; the name of the officer that assisted you; and a recent photograph.