'Delft child safety plans in place'

The Western Cape Social Development has plans in place to ensure the safety of children in Delft.

FILE: The scene where a nine-year-old Delft girl was raped, set alight and then left for dead. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Department of Social Development says it is working with the Delft community following a spate of child killings.

This follows the murder of three children in the area in the last month.

The Delft Community Policing Forum has accused government officials of visiting the area before an election, only to never return.

The latest victim is 11-year-old Siphokuhle Hlephu who was found dead in a shack over the weekend.

It is believed she was also raped.

A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

The community has since pleaded with provincial government to send social workers to their area, saying their children are vulnerable.

Speaking to 567 CapeTalk, the department's Charles Jordan said they were doing their best to address the problem.

"At this stage we have about four teams of about six social workers with support staff. But it's not only social development that's usually involved in areas. We are in cooperation with NGOs and so forth."

He says they have a plan in place.

"We are looking at the identification of children are risk. So that's the kind of efforts we are putting right now into Delft."

Jordan says parents also need to play a role in keeping their children safe.

"Parents need to be skilled on how to look after their children. So we also have various parenting skills programmes. As part of our intervention, we will also have holiday programmes and therapeutic counselling services."

However, he admits that the public needs to be educated on how to access these programmes.