The Gauteng government on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to dealing with violence against children during an event at the Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane were presented with hard-hitting statistics about the levels of violence children in the country experience by development and rights-based organization, Save the Children.
According to the Report compiled by the organisation, titled Violence Unwrapped, The Social and Economic Burden of Violence against Children in South Africa, one in every three young people would have experienced sexual abuse in their lifetime.
The organisation also said that a 2015 study conducted by the Optimus Foundation and the University of Cape Town showed that 23.1% of young people reported exposure to family violence, 44.5% had experienced theft and 26.2% had been robbed.
Makhura and Nkosi-Malobane unveiled a sculpture, containing messages on violence against children that had been placed at Constitutional Hill for the duration of the 16 Days campaign earlier on Friday.
The Gauteng Government said they were currently responding to issues of social transformation and Save the Children would continue to work with government to ensure that South Africa and Gauteng becomes a safer place for children.
The Premier acknowledged the ground-breaking study undertaken by the organisation.
“It will go a long way in helping us to understand the conditions and challenges facing our children so that we can design appropriate interventions,” Makhura said.
The Government said they were intervening to build a safer Gauteng for children by implementing the Gauteng Safety Strategy which had a specific focus on social crime prevention.
The plight of children whose mothers were victims of gender-based was also a priority for government and eligible children who were in shelters must receive serious support to complete schooling and further their studies beyond grade 12.
However, Makhura acknowledged that partnerships and co-operation were needed to make a significant difference.
“We must work together because the challenge we are facing is enormous. The figures are shocking. On this day we are saying NO to abuse and violence against children. Not under our watch,” he said.
– African News Agency