Our government is committed to creating the conditions for a better life for all of our people.
We believe we must be partners in mobilizing society for change, in mobilizing for a better life for all. This is why we have created Stakeholder Forums in all our provinces as a means of ensuring we work together and do more.
Inclusion of all in the change agenda is one of the most critical challenges of every aspect of socio-economic change in South Africa. We have to find a mobilization strategy or programme that will persuade every person that they have a critical role to play in changing their lives with government support and assistance.
Our Forums are aimed at creating a basis for community leaders and leaders at local level to play a role in supporting South Africa to achieve its national objectives. We want all of you to become full participants in building a new thriving society in which every person can make a difference.
Home Affairs requires this commitment from Forum members and all of you because the work we do is critical to building a better South Africa.
We are assigned to create a secure and reliable NPR for South Africa. We want all of you to be registered and to have genuine national documents that secure your identity. We want our Forums to help the people understand the vital importance of Home Affairs to our national security.
Our objectives are very simple and clear:
- All children should be registered within the first month of birth
- All 16 year olds should apply for IDs
- Fraud and corruption through abusing our services must be stopped
- Our service delivery must be improved
- Our officials must reflect the living expression of the principles of Batho Pele, by putting people first and providing quality services.
We are building these broad alliances with all stakeholders to foster positive national identity. We want to work with you as part of a social compact for unity and development.
The Stakeholder Forums can be a dynamic force for community empowerment and service delivery. All of us know that we have tried such initiatives before but they fail due to forgetting their purpose and mandate. These forums are there to assist us meet our objectives as Home Affairs. They will help us bring services close to the people and know our communities better.
The National Development Plan devotes a lot of space to the concept of an active and engaged citizenry. It suggests that we need to move away from waiting for services to reach us and play a leading role in ensuring we bring services to our communities and show them which door to enter.
Our government has not stopped investing in communities, in health, in education and in social grants. More and better schools have been built; the FET recapitalization programme has been implemented successfully. New life has been given to these previously neglected institutions. The no-fee school policy has freed many families from the worry of financial exclusion and the reintroduction of teacher bursaries has renewed interest in the profession.
All who access these services should be on the National Populations Register and should have IDs.
Much remains to be done; we are ready to redouble our efforts. The lessons learned from research show that to be really successful, we in government need appropriate support from the broad community, local leaders, political parties and provincial government.
This launch confirms that we have secured that support and are ready to work hard to ensure all the goals we have set are achieved. I look forward to working with the North West Forum to achieve our objective of a secure, reliable National Population Register.
Today we also launch Child Protection Week 2013.
We launch this campaign aware we all have a role to play in protecting children.
Our elders have taught us that it takes a village to raise a child.
That is why we say your child is my child and my child is your child.
As we launch this campaign, we recall that many children in our country are growing up without the care of a protective and permanent family. And we encourage fellow South Africans to come together to support this campaign by wearing a green ribbon and to report cases of child abuse, neglect and exploitation to social works and police officers.
We also encourage all South Africans to provide care and support to orphans and vulnerable children.
Equally, we denounce violence against women and children.
We appeal and urge all South Africans to join us in spreading the message that it is time to end violence against our children.
Today we promise to work to identify more child victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation, and to help and protect them.
We commit ourselves to make children aware of online risks, so that they can enjoy their online lives without fear. And we undertake to reduce the availability of online child sexual abuse material.
We reaffirm our undertaking to take proactive action against the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children in our country. As we launch the Child Protection Week here today, we pledge to discharge our responsibilities to care and support South Africans children without fear or favour.