Over 250 child abuse cases reported since lockdown - Western Cape govt

These are only the cases that have been reported to the Social Development Department in the province.

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The Western Cape Social Development Department told CapeTalk on Sunday that over 250 cases of child abuse have been reported since the start of lockdown.

With South Africa marking child protection week, there are concerns the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the country's ability to respond to child abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Children have not been at school since the end of March, when the lockdown to curb the spread of the pandemic was put in place, with measures forcing them to stay at home.

The department's Joshua Chigome said: "The cases that I have are only the cases that have been reported to our department. Throughout the course of the last nine weeks, we've had a total of 283 cases of child abuse reported in the province."