Addressing the Provincial Legislature today, Gauteng Social Cluster Chairperson and Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, in her Member Statement announced that the cabinet has launched an investigation into sexual violence claims against Emfuleni Mayor involving a minor girl child.
She said yesterday, a Cabinet Committee launched an investigation against a Gauteng Mayor for allegedly sexually grooming a 14 year old girl he had a relationship with. This Committee was established by Gauteng Premier David Makhura in the wake of sexual abuse of 87 learners at a Soweto school. It comprise of MECs Panyaza Lesufi for Education, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane of Community Safety and Nandi Mayathula-Khoza of Social Development. Its brief is to act specifically on the prevention of abuse of girl children without excluding boy children and to strongly act against gender based violence.
“Yesterday, the special cabinet task team visited the home of the girl learner with the aim of getting facts and of supporting the girl learner and the family. The family has applied for a protection order to ensure that the alleged perpetrator stops contacting the girl learner. The community safety MEC has also appraised us that a criminal case has now been opened and is under investigation by the law enforcement agencies.
“The girl child is already receiving trauma therapy and our professional social workers will counsel the whole family. The special cabinet committee will continue to support the girl child and her family to ensure that there is justice. As part of the GP Campaign on investing, protecting and empowering the girl child equally to the boy child, we call upon all the people of Gauteng, to pull from the depth of all our collective strengths to commit to put an end to this ugly plague of GBV in our communities,” the MEC said.
She announced that the Gauteng Government was to lead a big march led by the Premier and the Special Cabinet Committee to launch the 16 days of no violence on women and girl children on the 24th of November 2017.
Mayathula-Khoza said the Gauteng Government was paying attention to the care and abuse of children in the province.
“Two weeks ago, this committee was also able to save an eight year old girl from sexual abuse at school and at home in the farm areas of the Vaal. This, we later learned, has been happening to her since she was five-years- old. We are pleased that we have moved this child to a place of safety and she is responding well to the new leaf of life,” she said.
Mayathula-Khoza told the house that today was the closing of the social development month.
“Today brings to an end the Social Development Month which we observed under the theme: “Working Together to Build Caring and Sustainable Communities for All.” During this Social development month which also embraces other social transformation cluster programs such as the mental health and cancer month, we engaged community leadership including councillors and social service providers to inform communities of the various social security programmes available to them and how these can be accessed.
“Most importantly, we asked the community to tell us if these services are accessible or not, if not, we together put an action plan to ensure that our people know where to access social security services. These services include Social grants by Sassa, ECD program registration, Substance abuse treatment centres, Community Nutrition Development Centres for addressing hunger and poverty, Adopt a child, How to apply for foster care, How to register as community care giver for vulnerable older persons, children, women, youth, the sick and people with disabilities, and most importantly we informed communities about institutions such as Places of safety or Shelters for Victims of Gender based violence,” she said.
The MEC also used the occasion to make announcement of the achievement of her department during the Social Development Month. The Social Development is hosted by the national government to raise awareness about government services to citizens.
“We would like to acknowledge the contributions of thousands of participants, volunteers and partners; both within Government; across all spheres as well as those in the NGO sector and other social partners. All these partners contributed immensely in increasing awareness of Gauteng government programmes in particular on accelerated social transformation.
“On a more positive note, as part of the Social development / Transformation month, we hosted the 2017 Cooperation Summit between Italy’s Romagna Province, the Reggio Emilia City and the Gauteng Provincial Government. The ECD Summit, themed “Exploring the best practice on pedagogical approaches for improving the quality of ECD Programmes,” produced an implementation programme towards achieving the Reggio Emilia Child Approach which encompasses children’s creative, sporting and academic natures in an inclusive policy that provides for children with special needs within the mainstream facilities, with additional human resources,” she said.
Mayathula-Khoza said as part of the summit, her department has identified opportunities to create new jobs for Cooperatives on the Early Childhood Development (ECD) support programmes such as cooking, cleaning, laundry etc. so that the ECD practitioner focuses on the child and put the child at the centre of his or her learning.
She also announced that Gauteng’s senior citizens have performed very well at the National Golden Games Tournament held in Durban in the past week. The Gauteng team came third on the national competition including male and female Soccer teams known as the Golden girls and golden boys.
“The results signify our achievement as a society in achieving the outcomes of our Active Ageing Programme. It means we are succeeding in spreading the message of graceful ageing,” said Mayathula-Khoza.
Issued by the Gauteng Department of Social Development
For more please contact Mbangwa Xaba on 0724476582 or Mbangwa.Xaba@gauteng.gov.za