Jeffreys Bay has children living on the street just like any other city or town in South Africa.
The reasons these children are on the streets are varied. One big concern is that the Eastern Cape has been identified as having the highest percentage of HIV orphans in South Africa by the Human Sciences Research Council.
These are kids that have lost their families and have turned to the streets simple to survive. They grow up without protection, without any moral values being instilled and generally have to resort to crime just to survive.
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(Above: Sport is one way of reaching out to street children and helping them become part of normal society)
Harsh living conditions at home are also to blame with alcohol and drug abuse often contributing factors to children deciding to move onto the streets.It has become clear that society can no longer turn a blind eye to what is a worldwide problem.
W/O De Lange from the Jeffreys Bay Police has decided to take a pro active approach to the problem of street children in Jeffreys Bay.
“We need to come up with solutions instead of just highlighting the problems all the time”, said De Lange. “By the time street children become a Police problem it means the system has failed them and we need to help them before they drift into a life of crime”.
A meeting was held at the Jeffreys Bay Police Station that brought together the various role players who can make a difference.
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(Above: There is a very real risk that street children will drift into a life of crime)
Mrs Grootboom from the Department of Social Development attended the meeting and mentioned that the problem of street children is a difficult one to resolve and that it is necessary for the cooperation of various departments, institutions and individuals to find the correct means of dealing with the current situation.
A committee has been formed to come up with solutions for Jeffreys Bay before the problem escalates and becomes out of control.