Activist Lucinda Evans has vowed to continue to fight for children’s rights with or without the official title of Western Cape Commissioner for Children.
Last week Ms Evans was named as one of the 59 candidates nominated to become the country’s first Commissioner for Children.
The commissioner will work with the Department of Social Development to investigate, monitor and lobby for children’s rights and advise on matters that pertain to children in the province, including education, health, welfare, recreation and amenities and sport.
Earlier this year local government passed the Western Cape Commissioner for Children Act to advocate for children’s rights following the spate of child murders in the country.
Ms Evans, the former Mitchell’s Plain community police forum (CPF) chairperson and founder of organisation Philisa Abafazi Bethu, has been travelling around the country to attend and picket at court cases where children’s rights were violated.
“I am humbled that those who nominated me think that I can have such a big responsibility. I see the Children’s Commissioner as the person that’s going to change the landscape of this country when it comes to child protection. Someone who is going to be the one to not just advocate but someone who is going to put policy into action so that in the next 10 years we have a better outcome when it comes to all children’s protection,” said Ms Evans.
If she is chosen as the commissioner, Ms Evans said she will donate a portion of her salary to worthy organisations and causes.
“There are so many people on the nominee list with expertise when it comes to children. If I am selected it would not be about a salary for me. I would give a quarter of my salary every month for the first year to community-based organisations that are working with children, youth and women. I will do this because there are many organisations that are doing sterling work that will never get recognition because of compliance. If I am selected I will support them 200% and honour them,” said Ms Evans.
The list of those nominated includes child activist Patric Solomons, CEO of Artscape Marlene le Roux and Lizelle Africa, the acting deputy director of the National Prosecuting Authority’s Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit.
Residents can view the list of nominations on the Parliamentary website: http://www.wcpp.gov.za/node/7112 and have chance to object by Wednesday October 23.
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.