Min. Fernandez welcomes R36 million newly renovated Child and Youth Care Centre | Western Cape Government


Min. Fernandez welcomes R36 million newly renovated Child and Youth Care Centre

13 June 2022

The Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, welcomes the completion of the R36 million newly renovated Outeniekwa Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) located in George. The official handover from the Provincial Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) to the provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) took place on Friday 10th June 2022.

The completion of this project has seen the capacity of the facility increase from supporting 80 to 140 young people who are either sentenced youth, youth who are awaiting trial or youth with severe behavioural challenges. Moreover, the expansion of the facility will help address overcrowding as well as contribute to the implementation of a safer and more secure centre that is in accordance with norms and standards required at such facilities. (Please see attachments for photo of newly renovated facility)

“As a Department, we remain committed to providing assistance and support to youth who have been in confrontation with the law. These young individuals must not be lost in the criminal justice system, but rather empowered so that they can be proactive citizens once they are reintegrated back into society, ” said Western Cape Minister for Social development, Sharna Fernandez

The provincial DSD has implemented international best practices to ensure that the facility offers state of the art functionality that includes enhanced lines of sight, graffitti resistant paint and vandal resistant fixtures. The design of the facility also makes allowance for staff to be more involved in the daily activities of the youth in their care and offers better opportunities for mentorship and guidance.

Presently, the Department operates seven multi-programme secure care centres, which cater to children who are in conflict with the law (awaiting trial and sentenced youth) in accordance with the Child Justice Act as well as the Children’s Act. These children are separated.

Many children are ordered by courts into secure care after being convicted for violent crimes such as rape and murder. In addition, both the Children’s Act and Child Justice Act makes provision for children staying in secure care until the age of 21. Currently, about 60% of the secure care centres’ residents are over the age of 18. Among the challenges posed by these legislative provisions, is that unlike correctional services personnel, child and youth care workers are not allowed to have or use protective equipment.

“Our Department cannot solely achieve improving the lives of our youth alone. Our existing safety net should be coupled with the entrenchment of values and by increasing trust between Government and communities. 

Without the support of the communities we serve, it’s unlikely that we will co-create a violence-free society in which the dignity and hope of all our citizens are restored,” concluded Minister Fernandez.

For more information on how to get the right help call 0800 220 250,  or visit our local offices at the Department of Social Development or visit https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/social-development

Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 083 661 4949

Email: Joshua.chigome@westerncape.gov.za­