DA plea for youth centre

ABOUT 96 children may be moved from a 100-year-old King William’s Town Yyouth Ccare Ccentre to other homes in the region.

This comes after the King William’s Town Child and Youth Care Centre’s (KWT CYCC) centre’s management received the news that they were going to lose their funding from the Ddepartment of Ssocial Ddevelopment (GO! & Express reported ‘Funding Ssaga may close youth centre’ last week).

The centre’s tTreasurer, Siyabonga Mbexeshi said Ssocial Ddevelopment officials members came to engage with the children affected last week without the the centre’s management being made aware of the visit beforehand.

“They did not inform us about coming to address the children. I was not even present at the time. , wWhen I arrived later, there were seven cars from social development parked outside the centrer. Apparently I was told that they had told the children that they will be moved to other centres,” Mbexeshi said.

“They also told social workers that they will place them in those centres as well.” he said.

Mbexeshi said they were still waiting on someone from the department to come and address the management on their reasons to stop the funding and why they were removing the children.

“It is our understanding that the department is just following their trend without not thinking about the children’s best interests,” Mbexeshi said.

In assisting the centre, Democratic Alliance (the DA’s Sshadow MEC for social development Kobus Botha wrote a letter to Social Development MEC Nancy Sihlwayi, asking her to intervene.

“The department officials have threatened to seize much-needed funding that is required to care for the children. Additional threats were also made to transfer these children to other homes across the province. The management of KWT CYCC alleges that DSD officials from the department have not forwarded official reports, discussed or had any formal consultation sessions with them in regard to their concerns with the centre,” Botha said.

“On Tuesday, 06 March 6, I visited the centre to find out first-hand what was going on and I have concluded that these accusations and counter-accusations have seriously soured the relationship between the department and the centre. In order to ensure fairness and to place the children’s well-being, let us work together in order to give our best to the children at this centre,” Botha wrote in a the letter.

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