Child killings show true state of our nation

Marie Sukers, ACDP member of parliament, Steenberg

The child murder rate as recorded in SA’s most recent crime stats, released by Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday, exhibits the real state of our nation.

The data shows that 352 children were killed between October and December 2021.

The ACDP is saddened by the recent statistics released by Minister Cele, but we are not surprised by them. We work in crime-ridden communities where this is the lived reality for our people. We are living in a dream if we don’t know the actual situation on the ground.

It is no secret that South Africa is no longer a safe place to bring up children. Our government is failing its citizens, by each passing day, as it cannot guarantee our safety, and, more importantly, the safety of its future: our children. It cannot, and should not, ever be accepted as a norm for the murder rate against children to climb by over 22% quarter to quarter. This exhibits the real state of our nation.

Parliamentarians were informed by the minister that from October to December 2021, 394 children were victims of attempted murders. The number of children killed dropped by 5.6% compared to the previous year.

For us to see a tangible positive response to these horrific statistics, our security and social cluster ministries need to step up their game big time. Yes, we recognise the need to deal with the root causes, but, at the same time, we need to provide non-negotiable safety and security for our children to grow up in a non-violent society.