In The News South Africa

MEC saddened by shack fire deaths and child abuse

JOHANNESBURG, January 18 (ANA) – The Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza on Wednesday said that she was saddened by the death of three children who died in shack fire in Dobsonville, Soweto.

Mayathula-Khoza said according to preliminary reports, three children aged five, three and 11-months-old died inside a burning shack, as a fire surprised a sleeping couple in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“Our hearts goes out to the family of the deceased. May their young souls rest in peace. We cannot begin to imagine what they are going through. As government, we will dispatch social workers to asses the needs of the family and we will then make a determination of how we could assist them in dealing with their tragedy,” Mayathula-Khoza said.

In another separate incident, police arrested a woman in Diepsloot for child abuse after a video surfaced on social media showing a woman physically abusing a toddler.

Mayathula-Khoza said the suspect was said be running a crèche and it was still unclear whether the crèche was registered with the department.

She said it was unacceptable that those entrusted with the responsibility of looking after children tend to be the very ones who endanger them.

“As the custodian of children’s rights, we will be pursuing this matter and we will go after anyone who abuse children. I would like to make an impassioned plea to parents to thoroughly check crèches before registering their children.”

Mayathula-Khoza urged parents to check with the local Regional Office of GDSD whether the Early Child Development (ECD) is registered and has a valid Environmental Health Certificate.

“Parents must insists on seeing the qualification of teachers; the MENU, the incident register and the Education Programme. But most significantly, you must check the environment (sleeping area, activity area, sick bay/isolation room and reception area (office),” Maythula-Khoza said.

She said government was doing all it can to ensure access to quality early learning and care centres for all.

“We therefore call upon all those who are entering this space, to ensure compliance so that government is able to regulate and fund them properly. As part of this effort, the GDSD has, since last year begun funding the renovation of ECDs to enable them to reach acceptable compliance levels.”

-African News Agency (ANA)

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