Parents to be charged for neglecting children

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pretoria - The Western Cape Community Safety Department has threatened to lay charges against any parent who is found to have neglected their child.

"It is totally unnecessary and cruel that children should be reported as missing due to human negligence," Provincial MEC for Community Safety Advocate Lennit Max said on Monday.

On Monday morning, a two-year-old child was also found wandering in the rain in Main Street.

A recent study done by the Human Sciences Research Council stated that most court cases in the Western Cape involved neglect by the children's biological mothers, who were under age, and abuse of alcohol or drugs.

Max noted that the government can never be an efficient substitute for good and healthy parenthood.

He appealed to parents and caregivers to ensure that their children are well looked after over the festive season.

"The safety of our children especially during this season is of the utmost importance and communities must ensure that children are safe all the time," he said.

He further advised parents that are at work during the day to ensure that trusted people are looking after their children.

"Households need to be a natural place of safety where children can enjoy an environment that fosters protection, love and caring."