22 May 2018

CHILDREN IN SOUTH AFRICA SHOULD THRIVE, NOT ONLY SURVIVE

Submitted by Badisa

There are currently 18.6 million children living in South Africa and the statistics tell a harrowing tale of a struggle for survival:

  • 56% of children live in households beneath the poverty line with an income of less than R635 per month.
  • More than 50% of children are subjected to violence.
  • Only 44% of all sexual assault cases against children are reported to the SAPS.
  • 34.8% of children in SA are subjected to physical abuse.
  • 65% of South African children do not live with their biological parents.
  • 3 children are murdered in South Africa daily.

Violence against children is costing South Africa a shocking estimated R239 billion per year!

Source: SA Child Gauge 2017, Children’s Institute

National Child Protection Week (27 May to 3 June) is commemorated annually in South Africa to promote awareness of children’s rights as per the Children’s Act of 2005.

The National Care and Protection Policy is a statement of the Government of the Republic of South Africa’s (GRSA) commitment to pursue a rights-based developmental approach to childcare and protection that ensures all children are guaranteed their rights to not only survive but also to develop their full potential, as well as advance the country’s national developmental goals as indicated in the National Development Plan 2030.

The NDP identifies a number of services critical to equalising and optimising the development of all children especially the most vulnerable. These services include early childhood development services, education, basic services and adequate nutrition, and safe and inclusive communities and families.

Despite the long-standing commitment, some twenty years after the adoption of the developmental approach, the majority of South Africa’s children remain socially excluded. They are denied their rights, trapped in poverty, exposed to high levels of violence and are prevented from developing their full potential.

Who are the most vulnerable?

  • Children living in poverty
  • Children living in multi-problem families
  • Orphans
  • Child-headed households
  • Young children under the age of 6 years
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children living on the streets
  • Children exposed to violence

What are the risk factors?

Children in South Africa face multiple risks that have an impact on parental caregiving capabilities and the survival and development of children to reach their full potential. These include:

  • Children with chronic or mental illness or disabilities are at a greater risk of neglect and abuse;
  • Very young children whose brain development are vulnerable to biological, social and environmental risk factors;
  • Economic pressures and poverty, which limits the availability of resources for parents to meet children’s basic needs and support their development;
  • Substance abuse amongst parents and caregivers as well as children themselves;
  • Lack of care in the absence of parents leaving young children unsupervised;
  • Parents of a young age, with low levels of education or too many dependent children;
  • Disrupted caregiving due to the death of a parent, or abandonment, separated or divorced parents;
  • Parental lack of understanding a child’s developmental needs;
  • Mental health issues in the family;
  • Exposure to violence in the family and community;
  • Societal attitudes and cultural practices that promote the acceptance of violence against children, such as purported discipline;
  • Limited social networks and supportive services.

Badisa in Partnership with the Department of Social Development

Badisa is a registered social service organisation delivering child protection services as set out in the Children’s Act. As a result, they are key role players in communities and in the lives of vulnerable children.

Statistics show that Badisa has provided child protection services to 23 977 children, of which 657 were abused, 511 were sexually abused and 2 235 neglected over a period of one year. It also includes 171 street children, 493 abandoned children and 422 orphans. Of the above cases, 3 452 relate to inadequate parenting.

Badisa statistics for 2016/7

Areas of ServiceNumber of Beneficiaries
Social work programmes (prevention, early intervention, statutory services, re-integration and community work) 766 910
ECD Daycare Centres 1249
ECD Home-based Daycare 457
After School Care Centres 281
Child and Youth Care Centres 691
Adoptions and Pregnancy Counselling 1769

Ensuring that Children thrive, benefits Everyone

Ensuring that children thrive is good for society and tapping into their potential provides one of the greatest opportunities to effectively transform South Africa over the next twenty years. However, if we are serious about achieving these sustainable development goals we need to invest in creating safer homes, schools and communities.

Learn how YOU can invest in transformation today. Visit www.badisa.org.za to consider your options.