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STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE MAYOR, PATRICIA DE LILLE

Last year I visited the Dora Tamaan Early Childhood Development Centre in Khayelitsha to spend some time at an Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre.

I last visited the facility in February, when I was very impressed with the quality of work being done there for our children as well as the community at large.

At the visit the principal told me that the facility is in need of new toys for the children to play with and learn from.

The City of Cape Town partners with private operators of Early Childhood Development centres in order to deliver this service as an investment into the young lives of the most vulnerable in our city.

In light of this partnership, I undertook to find toys for the children because every child deserves the opportunity to spend their formative years educated in a well-equipped, caring environment.I initiated an internal toy drive appealing to the City’s staff to donate any toys in good condition that may be lying around at home by bringing them to a dedicated area on the second floor of the Civic Centre.

Within a few weeks, staff had contributed more than 450 toys. I am proud of them for walking the extra mile in building a caring city.

Today I am asking residents to help me amplify our efforts to build a caring city. Please consider donating any toys you may have that are no longer being used so that we can distribute them to these ECD facilities.

Last month, the City’s Social Development Department and Library and Information Services Department joined forces to establish toy libraries at 17 libraries across the city.

These toy libraries will provide a variety of play and educational materials to the local ECDs for children at various levels of development to stimulate their early development, provide them with toys for recreation, and cultivate a culture of reading at an early age. The toy libraries are a shared resource among the local ECDs.

Some of the toy libraries are in Scottsdene, Langa, Mfuleni, Fisantekraal, Elsies River, Melton Rose, Nyanga, Ocean View, Harare, Manenberg and Atlantis.

Donation boxes have been placed in all City libraries and the collection will run until mid-January 2017.

A collection box is also stationed at the Podium Block security desk on the second floor concourse level of the Cape Town Civic Centre. All toys that are received will be handed over to community libraries most in need.

Our initiatives, like the Early Childhood Development Programme, help take care of the wellness, nutrition and educational needs of young children.

We have budgeted over R14 billion to spend on initiatives like these over the next three years because our goal is to continue the work of caring for families in our communities.

I look forward to seeing the progress of this joint venture as another measure to ensure brighter futures for our sons and daughters. Let’s Play it Forward.

Cape Town – getting on with building a caring city.

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