Minister Patricia De Lille Releases 16 Days of Activism Maintenance Campaign Statistics
Minister Patricia De Lille Releases 16 Days Of Activism Maintenance Campaign Statistics At Press Conference
1. Community Development Workers Deployed by Department of Local Government to find maintenance beneficiaries
Looking at the Document titled 'Beneficiaries Traced', you will see that Community Development Workers deployed by the Provincial Department of Local Government to the homes of untraced beneficiaries have had an initial success rate of 61%.
We hope that the 210 beneficiaries we have tracked down will find feeding, clothing and educating their children a little bit easier next year.
A total of 83 of the 156 beneficiaries cited as living in Phillippi were tracked down.
Together the 83 mothers will receive R63 668.80.
CDWs in the Athlone area tracked down 26 of the 33 maintenance beneficiaries who had not collected their monies, to the tune of R12 439.
I think our Community Development Workers in Khayelitsha should be applauded most loudly of all for tracking down every last one of the 20 beneficiaries, who together will receive R20 667.
In addition, 11 beneficiaries were tracked down in Vredenburg, 3 in Worcester, 20 in Paarl, 1 in Ceres and 12 in Blue Downs, amongst others.
I am sure that each one of those children desperately needs his or her portion of the total of R168 711.80 awarded to their single parent.
2. South African Police Service
Of the 77 defaulters that were visited, 71 were found, which represents a 92% success rate.
Of the 71 that were found, 59 were arrested and slept in police cells.
A further 7 were taken to court immediately, while 5 of the 71 tracked down were in possession of indemnity forms, meaning that during the campaign they had gone to court on their own accord.
Preliminary analysis of campaign:
This campaign has been an amazing success.
Not only in terms of tracking down defaulters and beneficiaries, but also in terms of the incredible cooperation between different departments and tiers of Government.
Possibly even more important is the heightened awareness we created through each part of the campaign and especially through the publishing of the names of alleged maintenance defaulters.
Our thanks go to every department and individual involved, and especially the public, whose support has been tremendous.
The way forward:
We are going work hard to ensure that this campaign runs for 365 days a year.
In-order to ensure sustainability of the project further negotiations will take place during February to March 2011 between the PGWC and the Ministry and National Department of Justice and constitutional Development.
Our goal is to work towards a reinforced, year-long, 365-days programme, starting April 2011 to March 2012 (medium term).
Further assessments of the lessons learnt, successes, impact, etc., during the 16 Days of Activism Campaign will also be made during the period February/March 2011.
After the one year long project the option to continue for the duration of the current term of office will be assessed (long term).
1. Maintenance Hotline
From the very start of the Western Cape Government's campaign, when we dropped a banner off the side of the incomplete highway in Greenpoint, a banner saying 'The End of the Road for Maintenance Defaulters', there was massive public interest in our campaign.
To give you an idea of how important this issue is in the hearts and minds of our people out there, on the first day of the campaign, the 25th of November, we received 25 calls.
This was before news of the maintenance campaign and hotline number had spread.
The next day, as you will see form the document titled 'Child Maintenance Hotline Report', on the 26th this number doubled to 52 and by Monday 29 November had almost tripled to 149 calls on that day.
By 6 December we were receiving 221 calls about maintenance issues daily, with a record of 259 calls on the next day, the 7th.
On the 7th the number was receiving around 30 maintenance calls an hour.
With the 103 calls the Child Maintenance Hotline received on Friday 10 December, the last day of the campaign, the total number of calls that came through from members of the public was 1 647.
2. Cape Gateway
I would also like to draw your attention to the document titled, 'Child maintenance/16 Days of Activism: Cape Gateway', which outlines the levels of popularity of the campaign on the Cape Gateway website.
I think you will agree that the more than 27 000 hits Cape Gateway received for news relating to the 16 Days of Activism campaign is proof that maintenance defaulting is not just a problem of the poor.
More than 4 500 hits were recorded on a link titled 'Getting help: Maintenance is in the Best Interests of the Child.'
BACKGROUND FOR EDITORS
The Children's Act 38 of 2005, led and administered by the Department of Social Development and which came into full force and effect on 1 April 2010, is seen as the most comprehensive piece of legislation dealing with the well-being and protection of children.
It sets out in detail the principles relating to the care and protection of children and clearly defines when a child should be considered to be a child in need of care and protection.
It, inter alia, introduces the concept of "parental responsibilities and rights", which sets out the responsibilities and rights that parent and others have over their children.
Such responsibilities include the obligation of biological parents to maintain their children irrespective of who is the holder of parental rights and responsibilities.
The Maintenance Act:
The Maintenance Act of 99 of 1998, led and administered by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, regulates the manner in which parents can be held accountable for paying maintenance for their children, as well as the enforcement of maintenance orders.
However, often these court orders are not complied with and this contributes to children being left destitute and impoverished.
The need for the Maintenance Campaign:
To explain the need for this campaign, let me give you a summary of the rationale behind our decision to publish the names of untraced defaulters:
- There is a need to create massive deterrents as many women and children continue to live in extreme poverty, with mainly fathers abandoning their responsibilities;
- Men especially must know that if they make a baby they need to take responsibility for the child's upbringing;
- There are very few consequences for men;
- Women are the ones to stand in queues and then very often nothing happens;
- The high prevalence of rape, teenage pregnancies, substance abuse their consequences and impact on families must be addressed;
- We need functional family units;
- We have an open justice system and justice must be seen to be done.
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