MEC Patricia De Lille's New Social Development Atlantis Office Launch Speech Notes | Western Cape Government


MEC Patricia De Lille's New Social Development Atlantis Office Launch Speech Notes

13 October 2010
  • Officially opening the doors of the new Atlantis Social Development office is a very proud moment for all of us
  • Atlantis is a priority area for the Western Cape Government and this development is in line with a number of important Strategic Objectives
  • While a large number of the Strategic Objectives of our Provincial Government have been covered with this development, the most important in relation to the work we do as a Department are SOs 1, 7, 8 and 9, which are, respectively
    Increasing opportunities for growth and jobs
    Increasing social cohesion
    Reducing and alleviating poverty
    Integrating service delivery for maximum impact
  • The work we are doing to improve our services to the poor and vulnerable of Atlantis is made all the more important by the fact that an estimated 65% of the economically active inhabitants of Atlantis are unemployed
  • Furthermore, this town has a massive gangsterism problem
  • Stats show that 35% of Atlantis youth are addicted to tik
  • The latest police statistics also reveal an increase in domestic violence cases
  • The treatment of children in our city and province is perhaps best illustrated by the many stories where mothers have resorted to dumping their own babies
  • Toddlers are even being abused, raped and killed, sometimes by their own parents
  • What I find most worrying about the debates and discussions around the recent incident where a woman dumped her baby in a manhole is that there has been hardly a single mention of the child's father
  • Does this child have a father? Why is it that as a society we do not even consider this fundamental question? I hope it is not because we expect nothing from fathers
  • We urgently need to do something about the societal attitude of men towards fatherhood. We must begin to empower men to take responsibility
  • Each time a woman abandons her child we must ask the question: have they already been abandoned themselves by the father of that child?
  • However, we must also start to own up to the fact that when someone harms their child, we are all responsible
  • Nazlie, next time I come to this Atlantis office I want to hand over an award to the best father in Atlantis, a man who is really a man, who loves rather than beats, protects rather than harms and provides for his family, rather than takes away from them
  • This office must help give dignity back not only to the women and children of Atlantis, but also to the men, whose pride can be restored
  • So I want to use this opportunity to say to all of the staff at this office to continue to prioritise the plight of our children
  • A lot of hard work has gone into creating this new office space and I would like to thank all of you for your hard work
  • Quinton, your energy and enthusiasm is an example to all
  • We also no longer need to harp on the problems of the old office so this is a fresh opportunity to implement solutions
  • To the people of Atlantis I want to say, if you need any help please come to the office, you know where it is, so use it

Thank you

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