Western Cape School Holiday Programme Launch
Mr Programme Director
Colleagues - Ministers Grant & Jenner
Members from the different Departments
Our Leaners from different schools
Ladies & Gentlemen
With hours now to go before kick off to what has been described as the world's greatest sporting event, the excitement in the country and this province is so great that we can see it and we can feel it. I have no doubt that in true African spirit, we will give the rest of the world a soccer World Cup that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
But even as we embrace this global event being celebrated on African soil, we must be mindful of the risks and dangers it can pose - especially to those who are poor, vulnerable and easily taken in by the prospect of making quick money. We have already received reports of children being offered money (R5,000) to sell drugs during the World Cup. As government we have taken proactive measures to deal with these risks and dangers in order to protect our citizens. We have put in place a comprehensive Social Development Plan that covers a number of aspects such as trafficking, child safety, homeless people and of course the school holiday programme which is what this launch is all about.
Starting from today, until the time that the schools reopen on 10 July, a comprehensive school holiday programme will be operating in just about every area in this province - rural and urban. This Holiday Programme is a partnership between the department of Social Development, the City of Cape Town, all local municipalities and a range of non governmental organisations. The coverage of the Holiday Programme is so extensive that time does not permit me to name all the areas and venues where it will happen. These details will however be advertised in all the newspapers. In addition, the Western Cape Education department will be running programmes in about 75 schools during the holiday period.
I encourage parents and caregivers to be extra vigilant during this period and to make use of the school holiday programme. When I was in Mitchell's Plain on Saturday I asked the audience : "who will be watching your child while you are watching the match or while you are at work?" All parents must heed this question.
As a caring government, we have put measures in place to safeguard the children of this province and to give parents and citizens peace of mind. A wide range of activities will be on offer at the holiday programmes to make sure the children do not become bored. These include many sporting activities, and in keeping with the World Cup, there will be a great deal of soccer, including mini soccer and street soccer. There will also be life skills, motivational talks, hip hop dancing, arts and crafts, awareness on HIV and drugs, talent shows, diski dancing, story telling, drama, face painting for the younger ones and much, much more. As you can see, there will be something for everyone.
In addition, I have asked all crèches/ECD facilities and programmes to stay open for their normal hours during this period so that working parents with small children can have peace of mind. My department will also have 400 social workers on duty on a 24 hour basis at the matches, the fan parks and the official public viewing areas. The police will also be on high alert during this time.
What must be clear is that every effort has been made to protect the citizens of this province - especially the children, during this period of the World Cup. I want to thank all the partners for the extra work they will put in during this period and I want to urge communities and parents to become our partners in caring for your children. We want to look back on this World Cup and be able to say with pride that no harm came to any child because we worked as a team to protect our children.
I thank you