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20 December 2017

Release: Immediate

The DA in the Western Cape is calling on all parents, caregivers, extended family and the community at large to safeguard all children throughout the holiday period.

It’s vital that we do not neglect our responsibilities, by among others getting caught up in the euphoria of the festivities. Children are vulnerable and predators tend to take advantage of the festive atmosphere to target our innocent children.

Although the protection of children should be a daily occurrence, it is especially during this time, commonly known as the silly season, where it’s found that children go missing. I urge all residents to always be vigilant, making sure that we remain informed about our children’s whereabouts and the people with whom they spend their time. Furthermore, to have the contact details of the individuals that they’re with and should your child go missing during any period, to immediately report it to the SAPS and organisations such as Missing Children SA.The Missing Persons Bureau says that a child goes missing every 5 hours in South Africa. Statistics by Missing Children SA reveal that during May 2016 and April 2017 countrywide, 181 children went missing. In the Western Cape, during the same period, fifty-two (52) children went missing. Although forty-nine (49) children were found, three (3) is still missing.

Adding to the deep concern, is a response to my parliamentary question to Minister Plato, with regards to child murders over the last three years in the province, where SAPS informed us that 492 children were murdered between 2014 and August 2017. This is a further reason why we cannot take the safekeeping of our children for granted.

We must also be mindful of the adults and older people we expose our children to, knowing that some have questionable morals. As the DA in the Western Cape, we want to wish all families a blessed, joyous and safe festive season. We remain committed to supporting any initiative that will ensure the safekeeping of our children across all communities.

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