06/27/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/27/2019 08:03
South Africa has set aside the month of June as youth month in celebration of the youth of 1976 who laid down their lives to fight against the apartheid system of oppression.
The Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu will be at the Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa secure centre where she will interact with young people who have been assisted by the Department of Social Development through its various programmes. One of these programmes is the rehabilitation and protection of children in conflict with the law.
The Department of Social Development is mandated by the Children's Act 38 of 2005 as amended, to ensure the establishment and management of Child and Youth Care Centres. The centres are for children who are in conflict with the law, awaiting trial or sentencing, and children who are sentenced in terms of the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008. The Department has 31 Secure Care Centres around the country with a bed space capacity of 2 296.
As with the other centres, the Father Mkhatshwa Secure Care Centre provides care, rehabilitation and support to young persons who are battling with substance abuse and other behavioural problems. This programme is aimed at ensuring that despite the nature of the offences committed, young offenders still remain children in the eyes of the law.
Deputy Minister's visit to the centre is part of what the National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030 seeks to achieve which is to foster a sense of national cohesion, while acknowledging the country's diversity and inculcating a spirit of patriotism. This NDP goal can be realised through visible and active participation in different youth initiatives, projects and nation-building activities.
Change agents from across the country who previously were in secure care centres as child offenders will, as part of the day's programme, be afforded an opportunity to engage the youth who are now at the Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa Secure Centre.
50 young people between the ages of 18 and 21 will receive certificates from the Department for contributing positively to their communities.
In the 2018/19 financial year, the Department of Social Development assessed 23 918 child offenders, 10 515 were diverted and 3 039 were placed under home-based supervision. 132 of these children were under the age of 10 years.
Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the DSD Youth Month activity commemorated under the theme, '25 Years of Democracy: A Celebration of Youth Activism,' scheduled as follows:
Date: Friday, 28 June 2019
Venue: Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa Secure Care Centre at 318 Block 5, Soshanguve - Gauteng Province
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