SA Celebrates Children’s Day
SA Celebrates Children’s Day
South Africa has joined the world in celebrating International Children’s Day today.
In South Africa the day coincides with both the Child Protection Week (30-05 June) and the National Youth Month, which takes place throughout June.
Various events have been organised in this regard to commemorate the three related occasions.
Provinces and departments have since planned wide-ranging events varying from registration of children for the child support grant and birth certificates, to the hosting of a children’s parliament.
In Gauteng, Premier Mbhazima Shilowa has launched the “Bana Pele” (Children First) programme in Claremont, Johannesburg.
The programme is aimed for children receiving child support grant in the province to receive free medical care at all clinics in the province.
The same also applies to all children in Grade R; they will receive school uniform at no charge and also be exempted from paying school fees at all government schools.
Meanwhile, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Malusi Gigaba is launching his department’s Youth Month activities by addressing learners, handing out birth certificates as well as registering children for birth certificates in the Eastern Cape.
The Deputy Minister started by visiting the Joe Slovo Junior Secondary School and the Merry Vale Special School in Kwa Zakhele, Port Elizabeth where he addressed learners and handed over birth certificates to children.
Also at Joe Slovo Junior Secondary School, Mr Gigaba handed over hand-over a R39 000 cheque donated by the giant automobile company, Volkswagen SA (VW), for projects related to HIV/Aids and child abuse in the community.
He will later proceed to Enkuselweni Place of Safety where he will address the learners .
KwaZulu-Natal is celebrating the day by hosting a children’s parliament at Kingsmead Cricket Stadium that will discuss issues that rest heavily on the minds of young people in that province.
The theme of the children’s parliament is “Child Protection is everybody’s business: Hear the Voices of Children in KwaZulu-Natal.”
KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Ina Cronjé, accompanied by other MECs, will remark on the matters brought to attention of adults, while KZN Premier Sbu Ndebele is expected to respond on behalf of government.
On Monday Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya unveiled a green ribbon as a national symbol of hope for all children in the country.
He highlighted the need to protect children from all forms of abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect and urged communities to ensure that poor children accessed services such as the CSG.
“By marking the government seeks to intensify the mobilisation of community resources to ensure that all children are protected from all forms of discrimination, violence, neglect and exploitation,” he said.
Dr Skweyiya added that building a protective environment for children was a collective undertaking and it required a variety of measures.