Media Release: Minister Albert Fritz visits Youth Safety Holiday Programme
Yesterday, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, together with Councillors Elton Jansen and Bernadette Clarke, visited the Youth Safety and Religious Programme (YSRP) hosted by the A.G.S Kerk van Suid Afrika at the Strandfontein Community Hall.
On any given day, this particular holiday programme hosts between 60 and 140 young people from the Strandfontein community. Upon visiting, Minister Fritz was greeted by the youth with song and dance and was also given a sleeping bag for people experiencing homelessness, crafted by the young people.
The objectives of the YRSP are to:
- Fund the religious sector to co-produce conditions best suited for youth to feel safer during school holiday periods;
- Involve youth in positive and constructive activities conducted by the religious fraternity to divert youth away from crime, gangsterism, drug abuse and anti -social behavior; and
- Enhance the levels of active citizenship within high risk communities by acknowledging the critical role played by the religious fraternity towards increasing safety.
Minister Fritz said, “The YSRP is a religious holiday programme which promotes safety by keeping young people off the streets and out of harm’s way during the holidays. When visiting, coordinator Priscilla George informed me that many of the young people who attend come from vulnerable households and that if it weren’t for this programme, they could very well be left unattended and become victims of crime. The number of YSRP programmes in the province has increased from 44 in its 2012 pilot year to 403 programmes currently.”
Minister Fritz added, “I am pleased to see that initiatives such as these are keeping our children safe and out of the prying hands of criminals and gangsters. In 2012 the Department took a strategic decision to fund religious institutions to implement safety promotion initiatives for young people during school holidays. The YSRP was piloted in 2012/13 and has enjoyed significant support from religious institutions. The project has blossomed and grown at a rapid rate over the last seven years.”
Under the leadership of Minister Albert Fritz, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety will continue to implement and support initiatives which safe-guard the Western Cape’s young people.