Social Development provides assistance to families in distress
2017/01/19 Gopolang Leepile
Gauteng MEC for Social Development Nandi Mayathula-Khoza has expressed sadness over the passing of three Soweto toddlers who died during a shack fire on Wednesday.
The three children aged five, three and 11 months died in the early hours of the morning, while parents where seeking help from neighbors to remove them from the blaze, a preliminary reports said.
Mayathula Khoza said that as the government, they will send social workers to assess the family’s needs and how they could assist them in dealing with their tragic loss.
“Our hearts goes out to the family of the deceases. May their young souls rest in peace. We cannot begin to imagine what they are going through,” said MEC Mayathula-Khoza.
While in another incident, MEC Mayathula-Khoza condemned the physical abuse of a Diepsloot toddler by a crèche teacher, who in a video that surfaced on social media was seen suffocating the toddler for not eating; and has since been arrested.
The suspect, a woman not named, is said to be running the crèche and is not clear yet if the crèche is registered with the Department of Social Development.
The MEC said it is unacceptable for those entrusted with the responsibility of looking after children to be the ones who are endangering them.
“As custodians of children’s rights, we will be pursuing this matter and we will go after anyone who abuses children,” MEC Mayathula-Khoza said.
She also sent a plea to parents to thoroughly check with their regional offices of the Gauteng Department of Social Development whether the crèches they are enrolling their children in are registered and have valid Environmental Health Certification.
“Parents should insist on seeing the qualification of teachers, the Menu (which should be displayed), the incident register and the education programme,” she added.
She also said that government was doing all it can to ensure access to quality learning and care centres for all, as well as urging those who start crèches to ensure that they comply as government can regulate and fund them.
The GDSD has been funding the renovation of ECDs to enable them to reach acceptable compliance levels.