The Star Early Edition
Finance minister punts children’s needs
‘Economy must grow to protect them from abuse, trafficking’
FINANCE Minister Malusi Gigaba has encouraged communities to pay better attention to children and their needs in order to build an inclusive economy.
Speaking at the 94th Child Welfare South Africa (CWSA) fund-raising dinner on Friday, Gigaba said the country needed to grow the economy while also protecting children from abuse, trafficking and drugs.
CWSA is an umbrella body of NGOs working across the country and serving more than 2 million children to ensure they live in safe spaces and are not abused.
The dinner in Sandton was attended by business and political leaders.
Gigaba said: “Last week, we spoke about the challenges our economy is facing, we spoke about high unemployment.
“It’s a story of people who, because the economy is not growing fast enough and big enough and more inclusive enough, will not have jobs. Who will not be able to feed and raise their children, and provide for their children a better life.”
The almost 300 attendees contributed almost R210 000 in open pledges to CWSA and its advocacy initiatives, the 4Our Children Coalition project, Combating the Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children, as well as the Girl Child Project.
The minister said contributions to the CWSA would change at least one child’s life.
“This contribution will change a child’s life and raise up for us people who will make South Africa better and a proud nation,” Gigaba said.
CWSA patron Vivian Reddy said: “We live in a great country. There are more positives in South Africa than negatives, and what happens is that we tend to rate all the negative things to become negative about our country.
“We rank as the third highest in the world as people who contribute to good causes, and an organisation like Child Welfare survives because of people like you.”
Actor Khotso Rammopo said the importance of this fund-raiser was to uplift children, give them a voice and help them realise their full potential, regardless of their creed or race.
“Despite those achievements, CWSA and its children face an ever-growing threat of child trafficking and exploitation. To put it simply, we are at war,” he said.
To put it simply, we are at war