Adele Campbell, a well-known community leader in Lavender Hill, has been surprised by the outpouring of support for her nomination to the position of the Western Cape Commissioner for Children.
She said she was happy that people have confidence in her ability to be the voice of child-
Ms Campbell has been shortlisted and should she be appointed, she said her first task will be to put provincial-wide infrastructure together to facilitate the execution of the functions and responsibilities of the Commissioner for Children.
“To implement the existing legislation with regard to children’s rights and to foster awareness about the Children’s Act; the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, 1990.”
Ms Campbell is employed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Correctional Services as a maintenance specialist as well as the official liaison and spokesperson between the DOJ and the community and other stakeholders when it comes to advocacy and awareness programmes on children’s rights and essential court services.
Ms Campbell has been a community activist for years. “As a community development specialist my role is to capacitate and infuse awareness as well as advocate for the rights of children and families. In this capacity I do it through community-based organisations such as religious institutions, women’s groups, schools and community health organisations.”
Ms Campbell said she is currently the chairperson of the Wicht Court Association, which focuses on the elevation of poverty through feeding schemes directed at children, job creation, crime prevention and family counselling. She also serves on the committee of Ward 110 as a liaison for civic-based organisations and served as the school governing body chairperson of Prince George Primary for five years.
Ms Campbell said South Africa’s current legislation on the rights and protection of children is “one of the best in the world”.
However, she said her major challenge would be “the implementation of legislation to have an effect of real change in the lives of children and families.”
“Ek sal ’* baanbreker wees” (I will be a pioneer) and be instrumental in altering the lives of children and families,” said Ms Campbell.
“If I should be afforded the position as the first Commissioner for Children in the Western Cape, it would afford me the opportunity and ability to innovate change and to alter the dynamics of children’s lives to secure their health, education and their development to become productive and conscious citizens.”
As a Lavender Hill resident, Ms Campbell said she had seen socio-economic problems such as poverty, crime, unemployment, high school drop-out rates, substance abuse, dysfunctional families, teenage pregnancies, etc.
She said this is reflective of all urban and rural township communities. “This makes the commissioner’s role all the more important in contributing towards changing the lives of our citizens in the province.”
Ms Campbell said the duties of the commissioner would be “the monitoring, investigating, researching, educating, lobbying, advising and reporting on all issues relating to children”.
When asked if she believed this position would be suitable for men and women or only women, she said: “I feel the person who will be successful in this position should be competent and committed to changing the lives of children regardless of their gender.”
Residents have until today, Wednesday October 23, to comment on the candidates for the position of the Western Cape Commissioner for Children. View the list of nominations on the Parliamentary website: http://www.wcpp.gov.za/node/7112
Copies of all the names and objections will be forwarded to Premier Alan Winde after consideration by the social development standing committee and a short list will be compiled – followed by a vetting process.
Mr Winde, who will appoint the commissioner, said the successful candidate would be entrusted with lobbying for children and ensuring that their best interests are upheld.
Objections can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or: hand-delivered to N Jamce, The Secretary – Western Cape Provincial Parliament, 4th Floor, Provincial Legislature Building, 7 Wale Street, Cape Town, 8001.
They can also be posted to The Secretary – Western Cape Provincial Parliament, attention Ms Jamce, PO Box 648, Cape Town, 8000.