by Safiyia Stanfley – Deputy Federal Leader of DAWN
Error! Filename not specified.
Date: 19 September 2018
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape is calling on the MEC of Social Development, Gift van Staden to prioritize the needs of abused and neglected babies in the Northern Cape.
This comes after an oversight inspection to the Bophelo Child Care Centre in Kimberley yesterday revealed that much more support is required to meet the needs of babies who are abandoned into the care of the state. See photo here.
If it wasn’t for one dedicated housemother and eight caregivers, who devout their time and hearts to the care for the eight babies who are currently in the care of Bophelo Centre, the department’s failure to provide for these babies would have been far more pronounced.
Somehow, on a wing and a prayer, these ladies keep the centre afloat, sourcing basic but crucial items, such as nappies and milk, from good Samaritans and sharing their love as widely as possible amongst the multiple babies in their care. These are babies who have been given up on or even dumped and left for dead, many of whom also have special needs.
While the Department of Social Development does, to a certain extent, fund child and youth care centres, this funding is highly inadequate and only covers accommodation and monthly grocery costs. It is, however, not sufficient to provide for the specialised needs of babies, particularly babies ranging from newborns up to two years of age.
The state’s partial funding policy for NPOs is unreasonable and the DA is urging the department to review its policy on financial awards to NPO’s to ensure fair funding of NPO’s for delivering services that the state is obliged to fund under various social development laws. It cannot be that the state pays NPO’s less than what it will actually cost the state to deliver the same service, in turn forcing NPO’s to fund raise from donors to make up the shortfall.
Abandoned babies are the most vulnerable sector of society. They have already been let down by their parents and we cannot allow the ANC government to fail them too.
Only a DA-led government will work towards ensuring that each child is invested in and given the support they need to reach their full potential.