Department of Social Development conducts a campaign on child gangsterism on Tuesday, 05 October 2021, in Welkom.
The Department held dialogues with parents and children to raise awareness the growing numbers of children joining gangs.
Children in the area acknowledged that gangsterism affects them and their communities negatively.
Mpho Sodi (10), was asked why children were joining gangs and he said: “It is due to lack of parental care, support and attention. Peer pressure and parents’ inability to give us money are some of the factors making children join gangs.”
Some children also highlighted they were tempted to join gangs due to different reasons ranging from boredom; absence of role models; anger; lack of love; greed for money; no after school programmes, as well as the need to associate and protect themselves against bullying.
Dialogues were part of Social Development Month which is currently in full swing under the theme; “Delivering DSD Services During COVID-19 in the Year of Charlotte Maxeke.”
Department of Social Development introduced an Anti-Gangsterism Strategy to assist children and families in realising the dangers of child gangsterism.
Parents and children were taught about signs and symptoms associated with gangsterism. Some of the identified signs among children include aggression and anti-social behavioural patterns.
Implementation of this strategy calls for special attention to address gangsterism through dialogue with family members including children in Child and Youth Care Centres (CYCCs).
Responding to lessons from the dialogues, a teacher, Karabo Nkaneng, committed himself to spreading the message about gangsterism and its effects in communities.
“As a teacher, I am concerned about gangsterism as it steals the innocence and future of our children,” he said.
A female parent, who did not want to disclose her name, appreciated the work of Social Development for educating parents in the community.