Cape Town – It’s all systems go for the appointment of a Children’s Commissioner. The names of 59 people who have accepted the nominations are expected to be published tomorrow.
The Cape Argus has been able to establish that among the nominations are Artscape chief executive Marlene le Roux, Molo Songololo director Patric Solomons, activist and founder of NPO Philisa Abafazi Bethu (Heal our Women) Lucinda Evans, who spoke to the paper ahead of the release of the names on Wednesday.
“I am extremely humbled. It is a huge responsibility as a Children’s Commissioner but more importantly I am very happy that we are finally getting a commissioner.
"There has been a lot of pressure over the last few years and finally it’s happening,” she said.
Evans has been a vocal activist for children’s rights. She came into the spotlight in 2017 when she assisted the family of murdered 13-year-old Rene Tracey Roman.
The child’s body was found 11 days after her disappearance, wrapped in a carpet in the shed of a neighbour’s property 10m from her own home.
“I believe what will motivate me is that I will have a larger platform to advocate for the rights of children. We have wonderful laws in the country but implementing them is the biggest problem. One needs to look at the safety of children and where emergency plans are available for children,” she said.
Solomons said he accepted the nomination so that he can speak to all spheres of government about the safety of children. “It will be vital to engage with civil society and government about the protection of our children. The first task I will take on is understanding the law and whether we have enough policies and legislation in place to protect children,” he said.
Solomons, the driving force of the child rights’ body, Molo Songololo, said he had fiercely advocated for the appointment.
Le Roux, who has also accepted the nomination, said: “Children are very dear to me and what we need to do is look at delivering proper services to children. I was honoured when I was approached."
Chairperson of the provincial social development standing committee, Gillion Bosman, said: “We are encouraged by the 59 nominations received and look forward to seeing more participation from children in the objections process. Many children have engaged with the committee, and through the many organisations doing great work under difficult circumstances. If we take the politics out of the appointment process, we will ensure a competent Children’s Commissioner is appointed.”