Media release

Government urges communities to be vigilant and protect children

21 January 2016

21 Jan 2016

Government expresses great sadness at the tragic death of seven children in two separate incidents in the country this week. According to media reports, five of the children suffocated whilst playing in a freezer in Kakamas in Northern Cape and two after suffering from extreme heat when they were trapped inside an abandoned car in Clairemont in KwaZulu-Natal.

Whilst the respective law enforcement authorities are investigating both incidents, government urges communities to work together to keep children safe and for parents and care-givers to be more vigilant about their children’s whereabouts and activities at all times.

Acting Cabinet spokesperson, Phumla Williams, said: “These tragic incidents are regrettable.  Government sends its deepest condolences to the bereaved families. According to the old adage it takes a village to raise a child, therefore, the onus is on every South African to play their part. We urge communities to look after the children and ensure their safety.  Children have a constitutional right to be protected, and such incidents must be avoided at all costs.”

Parents and care-givers are encouraged to be mindful of the environment in which their children play and prevent access to items that could pose a danger to them. “Through various pieces of legislations and policies, government is committed to ensuring the safety of children, however it is also imperative that parents and society be cognisant of the roles that they need to play in safeguarding children,” said Williams.

Phumla Williams
Contact: 083 501 0139

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

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