Working together to protect our children over the Easter Break
During the Easter Weekend, there are often cases of missing children and child abandonment, reported to the Western Cape Department of Social Development.
In this regard, the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, is calling on all parents and caregivers to take the necessary precautions over the long weekend to ensure that no child is harmed.
Recent child protection statistics reveal that between April 2020 and March 2021, there were 24 cases of child abandonment in the Western Cape.
“If your child has gone missing, please do not hesitate to report this to the police urgently. The longer you delay reporting the incident, the less likely it is that you will find your child. The first 24 to 48 hours are the most critical in finding a child.”
“As parents and legal caregivers, the duty falls upon us to teach children about their personal safety. Your child must be taught to always keep all entrances and gates closed and locked, and that nobody should enter without permission from either parent,”said Minister Fernandez.
“Please ensure that your child(ren) also have a list of emergency contact numbers saved on their cell phones. These numbers should include the local police station, emergency medical service, the emergency number for your community watch group, and a trusted neighbour,
When visiting public spaces such as shopping malls, ensure that your child(ren) know their vital information, including full names, home address and the contact details of one of their parents,” added Minister Fernandez.
Should a person find a missing child, it is advised that they contact the SAPS, the department of Social Development or a designated child protection agency immediately.
For more information the public can call:
Department of Social Development: 0800 220 250
Gender Based Violence Command Center: 0800 428 428
Joshua Covenant Chigome
Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez
Tel: 021 483 9217
Cell: 083 661 4949