Future of Ottery Youth Care Centre hangs in the balance

The centre is home to around 60 boys who either fell afoul of the law or were pulled out of troubled or violent homes.

Ottery Youth Care Centre. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Dozens of boys on the Cape flats face an uncertain future with a decision imminent on whether the Ottery Youth Care Centre can keep its doors open.

The centre is home to around 60 boys who either fell afoul of the law or were pulled out of troubled or violent homes.

After a long legal battle with government, which it ultimately lost, Ottery has continued to resist new laws which have transformed similar institutions.

Ottery principal Moosa Mahadick says he and his staff are doing everything they can to keep giving the boys a second chance at life.

“Our society deals with this category of kids as disposable children.”

The boys tell chilling stories of being sucked into gangs.

“We get into each other and we just start fighting. Police can’t do anything because they either get stabbed or shot and so they don’t worry about us. They just stand there and if somebody dies, they take them away.”

The Departments of Education and Social Development say they are assessing the situation but a decision must be made before October.

For a feature on the Ottery Youth Centre, click here.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)