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Child Justice Act still not fully implemented

The Child Justice Act has still not been fully implemented, more than two years after it was introduced.

Little children playing outside Philani Health and Nutrition Centre in Khayelitsha on 25 July 2012. Picture: Nathan Adams/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Justice on Wednesday revealed that the Child Justice Act has still not been fully implemented, more than two years after it was passed into law.

Officials briefed Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police about the legislation, which addresses issues involving youth offenders.

Under the act, punishment would be tailored to the crime and dealt in a way that maintained the self-respect of the offender, as well as the approval of the community.

The presentation highlighted what one Member of Parliament (MP) described as a "sad state of implementation of the Child Justice Act".

It also emerged the South African Police Service (SAPS) does not have a dedicated budget for implementing the law.

This is compounded by a complete lack of information sharing between non-governmental organisations, government and SAPS.

The DA's Dianne Kohler-Barnard said it seemed many officers have still not been trained on how to use the act in their everyday duties.

Only 32,000 officers have received training on the law.