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The City’s Social Development Department is engaging with religious organisations and other civic bodies to help tackle social ills, including protecting youth at risk. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town is hosting a number of seminars with religious organisations this month, with a view to possibly working together on matters relating to the social fabric.

The engagements started last week at district level and will culminate in a city-wide seminar on 22 November 2016. The aim is to identify possible synergies between the various parties, but also to provide a platform to share challenges and possible solutions to those challenges.

At the centre of the Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate’s outreach is growing support for its efforts to combat truancy. Similar initiatives to try and keep children in school are already under way via the Women in Rental Stock Programme and partnerships with senior citizens through the Active Ageing Programme.

‘Aside from dealing with existing social ills, we also want to prevent it from mushrooming into the future, hence the critical focus on our young people. We have an ever developing early childhood development programme, but we need to pay more attention to teenagers and young adults and keeping them in school. This not only improves their economic prospects and quality of life once they leave school, but also reduces the risk of falling in with the wrong crowd and habits.‘I’ve said it time and again that the City alone cannot tackle the many social ills that permeate our society. This needs a whole of society approach and religious institutions have a very important role to play. Many churches and mosques are already doing outreach work, so we want to investigate whether we can build working relationships with them, because I believe we have a common cause,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Councillor Suzette Little.

It is hoped that religious groups will be able to provide insights on the existing social development programmes and highlight some areas they believe require intervention, ultimately resulting in better targeted interventions and less duplication.

The City is therefore calling on faith-based organisations, particularly those with already well-established networks of care, to please register with the City for future communication. They can do this by contacting the Social Development Department via e-mail to or by calling 021 444 1467.

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