More children live with both their parents in the Western Cape compared to other provinces, revealed a report.
More children live with both their parents in the Western Cape compared to other provinces, revealed a report.

Western Cape Children’s commissioner marks a year in office

By Velani Ludidi Time of article published Sep 25, 2021

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Cape Town - The Western Cape children's commissioner Christina Nomdo marked her first year in office, with a report that detailed her journey in the office.

The report also includes situational analysis of children in the province, regarding their state of health and wellness, access to early childhood development programmes, education, and social assistance.

Nomdo said the journey was fulfilling, but a lot more still needs to be done for children in the province and country.

“I do not think we should be joyful, the office is still new,” said Nomdo.

“In South Africa and in the Western Cape, children's lives are characterised by endemic violence and deprivation. Children experience violence, sometimes in their homes, and I am also aghast to note that children experience corporal punishment in schools. They are even victims of violence. This is one enduring characteristic of childhood in the current South Africa,” said Nomdo.

The Western Cape is the only province with a children’s commissioner, after Premier Alan Winde approved her appointment last year. A children’s commissioner is to look after the wellbeing of children.

Although Nomdo said she is not joyful about the report, there are positives – as it detailed that in the Western Cape, the proportion of children living with both parents is significantly higher than the national average, with around half of children residing with both parents (54%). Similarly, the number of children living with neither parent is relatively low in the Western Cape, demonstrated by 8% of children living with neither of their biological parents. This was contained in the 2020/2021 annual report released by the Western Cape child commissioner Christina Nomdo. In the report, she mentioned that many children in South Africa do not live consistently in the same household as their biological parents.

“I would have loved to reach more communities to check and address the well-being of children. My office only received 50 complaints or enquiries, between June last year and May this year, regarding issues affecting children and the violence faced by children. This number would have been higher if it was not for the pandemic that forced us to do things differently,” said Nomdo.

She also raised concerns about the deprivation many children face, which include income deprivation and not being able to attend school.

“There are many aspects that go towards children's well-being and service providers need to come together to provide that basket of goods, that creates well-being for children. It is not a positive picture, it shows us that we need to do more to put resources towards the prevention of violence, and also in the provision of services that create well-being for children,” added Nomdo.

She also added that this is the office’s first report and, thus, cannot be compared.

“I have been doing my best to reach out to the public, through social media and our website,” said Nomdo.

Weekend Argus

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