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Zulu 'concerned' about harm lockdown may have brought to some children

Zulu was launching Child Protection Week in Rustenburg, in the North West, on Saturday.

Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu at an inter-ministerial briefing on 24 March 2020 detailing how government will respond ahead of and during the 21-day lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said she was concerned about the harms the lockdown may have brought to some children.

Zulu was launching Child Protection Week in Rustenburg, in the North West, on Saturday.

Since President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the national state of disaster in March this year, schools and early childhood development centres have been closed.

The ensuing disruptions have heightened the risk of child abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Zulu said communities, particularly during the lockdown, have an important role to play in protecting children.

“I keep saying, raising the alarm must not be about the person who is abused. It is also about people who live around that person.”

While there is a call centre to report abuse, Zulu said non-governmental organisations also helped.

“Government has spent R7.2 billion every year in supporting NGOs and NPOs in order for them to be the other arm that assists.”