SA has come a long way in protecting its children - Zuma
02 June 2016, 11:27
Pretoria - While more needs to be done for country's children, South Africa has come a long way in protecting their rights, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.
"On this day we put children first and we remember all that we do to ensure children's security in the country. This day we take pride in all we do to ensure children are educated and safe," the President said during an International Children’s Day event in Pretoria.
He said government had achieved a lot on this front in the past 22 years.
"Government took a decision that poverty must not prevent children from having a better life."
Zuma said government was helping 11 million children through grants, and that he was happy that some of the youngsters who formerly benefited from child support grants were now studying to become doctors.
"This means we are achieving our goal of ensuring that poverty does not prevent children from achieving education."
Good story to tell
Zuma said nine million children from poor households were attending school free of charge and received free meals at schools.
Earlier on Wednesday Zuma and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini visited the Kingdom Life Children's Centre for orphaned and abused children in Atteridgeville for the opening of a new media centre.
About 50 computers and around R1.2m were donated to Kingdom Life by the social development department.
At that event Zuma said he was proud of the centre's owner Nomalizo Makoba.
"When I say in this country we have a good story to tell they don't believe me...When we say we are changing the quality of life of our people this is what we mean. Many people here think it should be a government that comes but it is the citizens that make change," he said.
Makoba said she was honoured to have the president open her media centre.
"I have come a long way. This place opened in 1999 in my home and we moved here in 2004 with 50 children. This will go a long way in helping us help them."