SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CONCERNED ABOUT INCREASING INCIDENTS OF LEARNER-ON-LEARNER VIOLENCE
Thursday, 06 June 2019

The Department of Social Development is deeply concerned about the recent increase of serious violence, particularly learner-on-learner violence in schools across South Africa.

This week, South Africa learnt about the death of a learner at Forest Hill High School in Turffontein and the fatal stabbing of other two learners allegedly at the hands of another learner at the same school.



The Department of Social Development is deeply concerned about the recent increase of serious violence, particularly learner-on-learner violence in schools across South Africa.

This week, South Africa learnt about the death of a learner at Forest Hill High School in Turffontein and the fatal stabbing of other two learners allegedly at the hands of another learner at the same school.

This is a challenge that affects all of our society and coincides with the commemoration of the annual Child Protection Week Campaign, currently underway in South Africa.

The incident that took place at Forest Hill High School highlights the need for key sectors around the country to work together to build a more protective environment for children, starting at family and community levels.

The incident also highlights the need for parents and caregivers to check and follow up on their children’s educational progress, discipline as well as the nature of their children’s reaction to discipline and respect towards teachers and fellow learners.

This, and other similar incidents, reinforces the Department’s view, shared through the Child Protection Week campaign, that child protection is everybody’s business and that coordinated action is needed across a number of fronts to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children in South Africa.

It highlights that the protection and care of children is not the sole responsibility of government but other stakeholders including parents, faith-based organisations, civil society and the media to play their part in the protection of children.

As part of the provision of the child protection system, the Department of Social Development provides care and reintegration services for children in conflict with the law.

In line with the provision of the Children’s Act 9 (Act No. 38 of 2005) the Department has established child and youth care centres which are used to accommodate children in conflict with the law, those who are awaiting trial or sentencing, or sentenced children in terms of the Child Justice Act (Act No. 75 of 2008).

As part of implementing both the Children’s Act and the Child Justice Act, the Department has developed a policy framework on the accreditation of diversion programmes and service providers which seek to give child offenders a second chance by preventing them from having a criminal record and to address the root causes for criminal behaviour.

Currently, the Department has 31 secure care centres with a bed space of 2 296 across all nine provinces.

As of the end of March this year, 23 918 child offenders were assessed, 10 515 diverted and 3 039 placed under home-based supervision.

The Department has also developed an anti-gangsterism strategy which is multi-sectorial in nature and contributes towards crime prevention.

This year’s Child Protection Week campaign runs from 2-9 June.

The official closing will be held on 9 June 2019 in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga Province.

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Media enquiries may be forwarded to Ms Lumka Oliphant on 083 484 8067 / This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it