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WC one step closer to appointing first commissioner for children

Lawmakers and government officials on Tuesday accepted an amended version of the legislation after receiving submissions from the public.

FILE: Members of Women and Men Against Child Abuse protest. Picture: www.wmaca.org

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape will be the first province in the country to have its own commissioner for children.
Lawmakers and government officials on Tuesday accepted an amended version of the legislation after receiving submissions from the public.

It will now be debated and later signed into law by the Western Cape premier.

With government edging closer to appointing a commissioner for children, lawmakers in the Western Cape have promised a renewed effort to tackle crimes against children.

The children’s commissioner will be tasked with assisting government to create a safer environment for children.

The legislature’s committee on constitutional matters agreed that penalties and fines will be set by the courts.

Committee chairperson Daylin Mitchell says: “The role of the children’s commissioner is to advance the social development of children in the Western Cape, ensuring that the right of children will be upheld or protected. The individual will have to monitor, research, investigate, lobby and report on children and their interest.”

The ANC’s Cameron Dugmore says the Commissioner is long overdue: “We have as a committee passed the Commission for Children’s Bill. This is important, and we’ve always maintained as the ANC that we need a commissioner to integrate all departments.”

It's still unclear when the legislation will be enacted by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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