New Athlone - Philippi Social Development Office Officially Opened
Media Statement by Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development.
I have today officially opened the new Athlone/Philippi office of the Department of Social Development. The new building, which is within easy reach of all major public transport routes, is on the doorstep of vulnerable communities like Kewtown, Silvertown, Bridgetown and Bokmakierie. For many of these residents, it is within walking distance.
We had previously occupied a rented building and improvements or renovations were not possible. The new building is a state-owned resource that significantly reduces our operating costs. Wheelchair access is also available for persons with disabilities - another problem we had at the old site.
The upcoming holiday season has in the past been characterised by an increase in child abandonment and neglect. I want to appeal to communities, especially young mothers who find themselves in a situation where they cannot care for their children, to seek help at our office. Don’t just abandon or dump your baby. There are channels in place through which we can assist, and possibly save a life.
At the same time, I am not suggesting that the state take over the responsibility of parents. The care and protection of children is firstly the responsibility of the parents – both of them. The state is there to do those things for people that they cannot reasonably be expected to do for themselves. We are however a caring government and will assist responsible parents to protect and care for their children, better together.
Spokesperson for Minister Fritz
Cell: 083 280 9199