Remarks by FW de Klerk at the KidsRights Dinner in Cape Town, 26 November 2012
REMARKS BY FW DE KLERK AT THE KIDSRIGHTS DINNER
CAPE TOWN, 26 NOVEMBER 2012
KIDS CHALLENGES AND THE BEAUTY OF THE CAPE
It is a great pleasure to welcome our friends from KidsRights back to Cape Town.
Your 2012 Trail for KidsRights is an imaginative initiative, which focuses attention on two salient features of South Africa - our enormous tourist potential on the one hand - and on the other, the equally enormous challenge of promoting the rights of our children.
I hope that you will enjoy the beauty of the Cape during your visit. We truly believe that it is one of the loveliest places in the world. Subscribers to Tripadvisor - one of the world’s leading travel websites - agree with us. Last year they voted Cape Town the number one tourist destination in the world.
Unfortunately, the beauty of our nature is not reflected in the conditions in which most of our children have to live. By any measure, the plight of millions of our children is unacceptable.
- Only 28.5% of black children - and 50% of coloured children - have two parents in their households;
- The education system has failed whole generations of our youth. Literacy and numeracy levels compare poorly with those of even the least developed African countries; 65% of children fall out of the education system without matric. Most of those who pass matric receive a qualification that has been so diluted and degraded that it simply does not prepare them for further education or for the job market.
- Child abuse is common. Millions of kids grow up in environments where violence, gangs, drugs and criminality are commonplace - in their schools, in their streets and in their communities.
- Thousands of children are parentless and are left to care for their siblings - or to sleep in the streets.
- Youth unemployment has become the norm in many communities. Millions of young people are condemned to lives of inactivity, futility and mounting frustration and anger. They provide receptive audiences for fiery demagogues.
Everyone - including the government - acknowledges these problems. Everybody says that the situation is unacceptable. Conferences are held and workshops are arranged. Experts talk on TV and on the radio. Commissions are appointed to investigate the situation and to come up with solutions. But little or nothing seems to happen.
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Published in: FW de Klerk Foundation