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National Child Care and Protection Policy Published

June 2, 2021

Department of Social Development

The National Child Care and Protection Policy has been published.

The social development department published the policy in Government Gazette 44636.

Cabinet approved the policy at the end of October 2019.

According to the cabinet statement, the policy gives effect to the Children Act of 2005.

Cabinet also pointed out that Section 28 of the Constitution “recognises the right of all children to social services and protection from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation”.

The policy also “strengthens the coordination of the childcare and protection system, and ensures maximum use of current resources for improved services which promote positive development of children”.

Cabinet also indicated that the policy responds to the North Gauteng High Court judgement which instructed the social development minister to make amendments that strengthen the foster care system.

Some of the issues covered in the policy include situational assessment; balancing the responsibilities and rights of children, families, communities and the state; the childcare and protection system – a continuum of services and strengthening the institutional arrangements of the childcare and protection system.

The policy articulates South Africa’s collective national child care and protection vision.

“It provides direction and articulates the requirements for the development and delivery of an effective continuum of child care and protection services that are necessary for sustained development.”

Meanwhile, the social development minister, Lindiwe Zulu, during an address at the inauguration of the new members of the Central Drug Authority (CDA) last week, expressed concern at the “devastating impact of the scourge of COVID- 19 pandemic, Gender Based –Violence (GBV), alcohol and substance abuse in the country”.

“The biggest problem we have in the country is the legal substances such as alcohol and cannabis/dagga”, she said.

The minister emphasized that concerted efforts are required to “uproot the scourge of GBV, alcohol and substance abuse”.

The minister highlighted that the CDA needs to provide expert input on legislative reforms such as the “banning of alcohol advertisement, increasing tax on alcohol, increasing the age of alcohol consumption, and zero tolerance to drunk driving”.

Primary prevention efforts at the community level will be a key focus going forward.

The minister pointed out that the “new term provides us with the opportunity to consolidate work already underway in key focus areas of Demand reduction, Supply reduction and Harm reduction of substance abuse, as well as ensuring that the seven goals of the National Drug Master Plan 2019 – 2024 and Principles are implemented”.