"People should not have babies until they are ready to be responsible parents," said Minister Albert Fritz, Western Cape Minister of Social Development.
WESTERN CAPE NEWS - "Don't have babies until you're ready to be parents," stressed Minister Albert Fritz, Western Cape Minister of Social Development at the start of Child Protection Week.
With the sickening frequency in which babies are being dumped by their uncaring mothers, the Minister expressed his sentiments and said: "Protecting our children should not be limited to themes and campaigns run by government."
In George, baby 'Survivor' was dumped in a Thembalethu pit toilet by his uncaring mother, another newborn baby was found in a plastic bag after his mother had left his body at the back of a Thembalethu soccer field. Yet another abandoned one-year-old child was found traumatised, naked and cold struggling to crawl out of a hole after being trapped for 12 hours, a pregnant mother advertised to sell her baby on Gumtree, and so the list of child abuse continues.
With reference to all unwanted children Minister Fritz said: "A child has a right to care and protection and the parents have a responsibility to provide this," and added: "While the State will never turn its back on abandoned babies, we will never break the cycle of poverty if government is expected to substitute the crucial role two loving, committed parents play in a child's development."
According to the Minister, the Western Cape Government offers various programmes within communities to, amongst others, educate parents/caregivers about their responsibilities and rights in the protection of children. "Particularly with disabled children, it is important that parents understand the various options involved in protecting and safeguarding their children," he said.
The Western Cape Government continues to promote the use of Early Childhood Development (ECD) services and are specifically focused on ensuring quality learning programmes at these ECDs. "Gone are the days where it is simply a baby-sitting facility."
In conclusion, Minister Fritz reiterated: "As a parent, the care and protection of your children remains your primary responsibility. As a government, we can create opportunities for increased safe spaces for our children. Parents need to grab hold of these opportunities and do their bit to ensure that their children benefit from these programmes."
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