Children’s Parliament addresses children’s needs post COVID-19
Premier of Kwazulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, addressed the Children’s Parliament at the eDumbe Municipality in the northwest of KwaZulu-Natal, on Wednesday,08 June 2022.
The theme for this year’s child protection week is ‘Let us all protect children during Covid-19 and beyond.’ Child protection Week commenced on Sunday the 29th of May and ends Sunday the 5th of June 2022. National Child Protection week is commemorated in the country annually to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and Children’s Act. The campaign is led by the Department of Social Development in partnership with key government departments and civil society organisations rendering child protection services.
Zikalala highlighted the issues faced by South African children especially during this global pandemic. According to the premier, the biggest challenge in the country to this day is teenage pregnancy.
“The black girl child faces more challenges, she has become the face of sexual abuse and exploitation by older men. It is alarming that we keep learning about thousands of children and teenagers that are falling pregnant, children as young as 10 years. It is said that as we speak, more than 34000 teenagers are pregnant,” said Zikalala.
Zikalala also added that South African laws are clear that sleeping with children younger than 16 is statutory rape, it is because there can never be any consent when sleeping with a child as young as 10 years old. The premier of KZN condemned these predatory men who are sleeping with children, he also urged community members and families to report these immoral men so they can be dealt with accordingly.
Hajira Langa & Mpendulo Ndlovu