Torture in  [South Africa]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [South Africa]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [South Africa]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [South Africa]  [other countries]
 

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                gvnet.com/streetchildren/SouthAfrica.htm

Republic of South Africa

South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that is 17th largest in the world; and modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region.

However, unemployment remains high and outdated infrastructure has constrained growth.

Daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era - especially poverty, lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups, and a shortage of public transportation. South African economic policy is fiscally conservative but pragmatic, focusing on controlling inflation, maintaining a budget surplus, and using state-owned enterprises to deliver basic services to low-income areas as a means to increase job growth and household income.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: SouthAfrica

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in South Africa.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLES ***

American musician takes on the system

Nina Harvey, People's Post, 05/12/2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 22 July 2011]

"A lot of organisations aimed at helping these kids simply come in and try and get them to conform without first discovering what their needs are. But in order to really help them you need to build a foundation first and not just go in and tell them what to do.

"People seem to either think they are delinquents, or they pity them, thinking they must have come from an abusive background. Yes, many of their previous circumstances may have been tough, but what people don't realise is that the street life is addictive. These kids have the freedom to move around as they please. Many of them will choose to stay where they are, living by their own rules."

And that, Brown says, is the greatest problem. "The structure in this country is flawed. Children here are making decisions for themselves they are too young to make."

Joburg lets its children speak

Emily Visser, Official Website of the City of Johannesburg, 13 December 2007

www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2002&Itemid=216

[accessed 22 July 2011]

NON-PHYSICAL NEEDS - The message that came out of the summit was clear - giving shelter to these children was not enough. Many of the children in shelters seemed to receive adequate physical care in the form of shelter, clothing, food and schooling. But their emotional and vocational needs were not being catered for satisfactorily.

Two breakaway sessions took place: in the first the children spoke freely about their experiences. All made "similar comments about their situations, and identified [similar] difficulties and shared aspirations for future improvements". Difficulties included being subjected to further abuse by so-called caregivers, constantly facing danger, being bored because of a lack of recreational facilities and peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol and engage in prostitution.

It also emerged that they found the term "street children" stigmatised them; they, in turn, saw themselves only as "ordinary human beings".

Despite the difficulties they experienced, the majority indicated that they preferred living in shelters to their own homes. "Many children acknowledged that the shelters were safer than their homes and that they were receiving an education," the report noted.

Breaking ties with the street

Vivian Attwood, Independent Online (IOL) News, June 9 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/breaking-ties-with-the-street-1.403726

[accessed 22 July 2011]

Fundu Shezi (nicknamed "Bandlani") has just turned 20. He has spent more than half his life on the streets of Durban. His skull and face are badly scarred and there is an aura of great sadness about him.

"When I was a baby my mother did not want me," he says.  "She threw me into an open sewer at Umlazi. A social worker found me and took me to the police. They put me in the Ocean View Children's Home.  "Later I went to a foster mom, but I was unhappy. She took the government grant, but was unkind about my mother. She was looking after five children, but she drank a lot. I was with her from six years old and when I was 10 I went on the streets.  "As I grew up, I started to smoke cigarettes, and then zol (dagga). I became addicted to glue on the streets. When I came here I decided to leave those things.  "I have been told that I have a brother and a sister who live in a place of safety. I would like to meet them one day. I have a lot of anger towards my mother for throwing me away. I dream about it all the time. How could she do that? I have so many questions.

The glue that blinds

Independent Online (IOL) News, May 28 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/the-glue-that-blinds-1.402261

[accessed 22 July 2011]

The young boy slumps against his crutches on a Point Road street corner, eyes misty and unfocused. His feet are twisted grotesquely, flipperlike, his skin grey from malnutrition.  He scans the throng, looking for his supplier. She will bring her covered basket, containing the glass bottles he needs to get him through another day. His skin itches with anxiety as he awaits his fix.  For just a couple of rands children living on the streets of Durban can block out the ugly reality they inhabit, and descend into a numbing parallel world for a little while; a world where there is no cold or hunger, strangers don't point and stare, and loneliness doesn't feature.

City's heart is hardening, say homeless

Rafaella Delle Donne, Independent Online (IOL) News, July 15 2007

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/city-s-heart-is-hardening-say-homeless-1.362044

[accessed 22 July 2011]

In the same week that thousands of blankets were distributed to shelters and charity organisations as part of GoodHopeFM's blanket drive, a homeless man claims his wife died of exposure after police took her blanket.

Under the new by-law, begging and sleeping on the streets is illegal. Essentially, it criminalises poverty, which means homeless people are resorting to hiding from police and organisations such as the Sea Point Community Police Forum to avoid arrest.

Jackson of Ons Plek said although street people do their share of annoying people, "the by-law reflects a hardening of hearts towards street people".

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

Runaways - Where To Turn For Help Before You Are Homeless

Rebeccas Community -- This is for anyone aged up to 13 years old who is thinking about running away

www.homeless.org.au/runaways.htm

[accessed 21 July 2011]

Here are the best phone numbers to call …They are Confidential - which means they won't tell anyone about your call unless you want them to talk to somebody for you, or you are in danger.  They are open 24 Hours - it doesn't matter what time you call  In South Africa, call 0800-05-5555

A Video Playlist for South Africa

Playlist developed by Brian Horne of almudo.com & streetkidnews.blogsome.com

www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=523418869632114C

[accessed 2 October 2011]

There are an increasing number of street children videos now available that constitute a supplementary source of information for researchers, especially for those who may not have experienced the reality of street children.

UNICEFSouth Africa

www.unicef.org/infobycountry/southafrica.html

[accessed 22 July 2011]

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2004/south-africa.htm

[accessed 23 December 2010]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - In urban areas, children work as street hawkers, especially around taxi stands and near public transportation, and as car guards.  There are reports that child prostitution is increasing.  There have been reports that some cities are becoming destinations for tourists seeking sex with minors

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61593.htm

[accessed 23 December 2010]

CHILDREN – The government was generally committed to children's welfare. The law provides for greater educational opportunities for disadvantaged children‑‑traditionally black South African children‑‑through a uniform system for the organization, governance, and funding of schools. It mandates compulsory education from ages 7 to 15 and ensures that children cannot be refused admission to public schools due to a lack of funds. According to the 2003 Statistics South Africa General Household Survey, approximately 97 percent of children between 7 and 15 years old were enrolled in school. Those not enrolled tended to be children with special needs

The government donated land and buildings for various shelters for victims of sexual abuse, street children, and orphans.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 28 January 2000

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/crc/southafrica2000.html

[accessed 23 December 2010]

[18] While the Committee notes that the principle of non-discrimination (article 2) is reflected in the new Constitution as well as in domestic legislation, it is still concerned that insufficient measures have been adopted to ensure that all children are guaranteed access to education, health and other social services. Of particular concern are certain vulnerable groups of children, including Black children; girls; children with disabilities, especially those with learning disabilities; child laborers; children living in rural areas; children working and/or living on the streets; children in the juvenile justice system; and refugee children.

Three Free State street kids burn to death

South African Press Association SAPA, 27 September, 2010

www.timeslive.co.za/local/article678377.ece/Three-Free-State-street-kids-burn-to-death

[accessed 22 July 2011]

saweatherobserver.blogspot.com/2010/09/free-state-street-kids-burn-to-death.html

[accessed 5 January 2017]

It was suspected that an argument started between two groups of Bloemfontein street children on Sunday.   The fight continued on and off during the day but the dispute turned serious when a group returned to the empty buildings at Ramkraal at 1am on Monday. The empty buildings at the complex are used by the street children to sleep at night.

It was alleged that petrol was used to set another building alight and three boys - known only as Sgantsontso from Durban, Tisetso from Freedom Square (Bloemfontein) and Lehlohonolo from Welkom - were killed in the fire. They were between 15 and 20 years old.

Street Child World Cup

streetchildworldcup.org/

[accessed 22 July 2011]

Millions of vulnerable and marginalised children throughout the world today are left with no option but to live on the streets. Deloitte Street Child World Cup aims to give these forgotten children a voice and to campaign for their rights.

DURBAN 2010 - Street children from eight countries came together in March 2010 to find their voices through the global language of a game they love. The inaugural Deloitte Street Child World Cup saw teams work with specialist coaches to express themselves on the football pitch and with artists who enabled them to tell their stories in new and creative ways.

Zimbabwean girls seek opportunity in South Africa

Donna Bryson, The Associated Press AP, MUSINA South Africa, May 13, 2009

www.sfltimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2763&Itemid=184

[accessed 15 October 2012]

www.namibian.com.na/index.php?id=53527&page=archive-read

[accessed 5 January 2017]

Sofia Chimhangwa, a 14-year-old in a denim skirt, lies on the concrete under a filthy blanket. Her 15-year-old friend sits next to her, braiding a legless Barbie's hair. Sofia says she survives because the other girl's 19-year-old boyfriend helps feed them both when the coins they beg don't stretch far enough.   "We shouldn't be here on our own. I know that," Sofia said. Her big sister helped her get to the border from Zimbabwe's capital Harare. After eight months in this border town, Sofia is not ready to go home because she cannot yet take money back to her widowed father.   She is among an increasing number of young Zimbabweans setting out on their own to escape their homeland's economic ruin, bringing both a child's naive sense of invincibility and a grown-up desire to help their families.

Musina is "not a good place," Tracy said. "There are no jobs. There's no place to stay. A lot of robbery. Girls are forcing themselves into prostitution to get money. And others are forcing themselves into temporary marriage, to stay with boyfriends for security."   However, she said she would not discourage any young Zimbabwean girl from coming here, adding she would likely return herself one day — a measure of the desperation in her homeland.   With an economic free-fall, collapsed hospital infrastructure and deadly cholera epidemic, aid agencies are feeding most of the population in Zimbabwe. For many Zimbabweans, the only road to survival remains the one leading to South Africa.   First, men left in search of work. As times got worse, women, too, had to leave. And finally children.

Children flee Zimbabwe to uncertain future

Justine Gerardy, Agence France-Presse AFP, Musina South Africa, Jan 11 2009

mg.co.za/article/2009-01-11-children-flee-zimbabwe-to-uncertain-future

[accessed 22 July 2011]

Prince Jelom has sold eggs, carried bags and pushed trolleys to survive life as a 13-year-old on the run from Zimbabwe's spectacular collapse.   He knows the best spots to sleep in a bus shelter, how to work an 11-hour day, and the tricks of bluffing his way back across a border after being deported.   But beyond his streetwise know-how, Jelom is just a penniless small boy who misses and worries about the grandmother he left behind in rural north-western Zimbabwe.   "I ran away on Wednesday, October 15, because I wanted to buy some books, clothes and a bicycle," he told Agence France-Presse in the border town of Musina, after travelling solo through Zimbabwe.

Jelom is one of 100 Zimbabwean children sleeping in a crowded tin-roofed garage at a Musina church, set up as a shelter for scores of young Zimbabwean boys found wandering the streets.   Living rough, often eating from rubbish bins, the street children are casualties of the worsening crisis at home where deadly cholera has come on the back of chronic food shortages, mind-boggling inflation and the collapse of hospitals and schools.

Therapy surfing for street kids

Claire Keeton, The Times, Dec 12, 2008

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 22 July 2011]

UMTHOMBO’S surfing club plays a true therapeutic role in the lives of street children connected to the project, says its CEO Tom Hewitt.   Sunday Times reported this week how Umzumbe surfing hero, Sandile Mqadi, is using the sport (the stoke) to reach out to youngsters in Durban and transform their lives.   Take orphaned Lucky Nosasali, 18, who admires his coach Sandile. Even though he sleeps on Durban’s pavements, he came eighth in a regional surfing competition recently.   Hewitt says: “All street children are traumatised... Umthombo Street Children are using surfing as a catalyst to get children off the streets and back into their communities.   “Already a number of those who were surfing (which is part of the relationship-building programme) have left and been re-integrated.   “We targeted the hardest glue sniffers. We wanted to give them another addiction — and we have seen the glue dropping away.   “As they got so into surfing, they could see the glue sniffing was harming surfing so some stopped sniffing at all and some were (down) to using it 20% to 30% of the time.”   Hewitt says that riding the waves also helped to clear and “free up” their minds so that they could benefit more from therapy back at the “Safe Space”.

Umthombo is also unique in that it is mostly staffed by former street children who know the immediate needs of vulnerable children and have been trained in child and youth care.   Fifteen of the 27 employees formerly lives on the streets.

Children under the sun

Rupi Mangat, the Nation newspaper, Nov 12 2008

mg.co.za/article/2008-11-10-children-under-the-sun

[accessed 22 July 2011]

Dagoretti is a slum area in Nairobi where Amref has its children's centre. At any time the centre is jammed with kids ranging from three years to early 20s getting their musical band ready for the day's practice.

Elizabeth Nyawira is a tall, lanky girl in the Jua Kali Drummers. About 15 years old and from a poor family, she took to the streets a few years ago, rummaging through bins for food and to salvage what she could to sell to the scrap buyers. "That's where Amref found me," says the budding musician.

Daniel Njoroge (23) was an angry, aggressive youngster when he came to the children's centre. His survival during his life on the street sometimes meant feeding on cat carcasses. He was also on a constant high from drugs. Now he's not only back at school but also training 15 street kids in music.

Cold drives kids to shelters but streets beckon in summer

www.weekendpost.co.za/main/2008/08/23/news/nl03_23082008.htm

[Last access date unavailable]

Where have all the street children gone? If you have wondered about the sudden disappearance of the children who used to beg at traffic lights and car windows, then blame the cold weather.  Shelters say there has been an increase in the number of children looking for refuge.

“We‘ve noted that every year between June and August more children come here for shelter because it‘s usually cold out there in the streets. We give them blankets, mattresses, warm clothes and food.”

She said in summer the children often returned to the streets.

Claudio, 16, who has been in the shelter for the past two months, dropped out of Missionvale Primary in Grade 5 last year.  His grandmother died last year in October, “but that‘s not the reason I landed in the streets. I think it‘s the bad decisions I made and (bad) influence from my friends,” he said.  “We make money by begging, or keeping an eye on parked cars. When we have money we buy drugs like dagga and mandrax. We sniff glue to keep our bodies warm in winter because it becomes impossible to sleep in such cold conditions covered by plastic or cardboard boxes.”

Street children building new lives for the elderly

www.theherald.co.za/herald/2008/07/30/news/n14_30072008.htm

[Last access date unavailable]

Street children and other youngsters at risk are to build homes for elderly people living in dilapidated shacks in Knysna.  Youngsters at Sinethemba, a day centre for street children in Khayalethu on the outskirts of Knysna, are receiving carpentry lessons from local pastor Faan Muller and have built workbenches and a workroom at the centre.  Sinethemba provides meals and lessons which include numeracy, literacy and life skills. It does not provide overnight accommodation and street children are collected in town each day.

We watched cops beat kids

Vivian Attwood, Independent Online (IOL) News, July 3 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/we-watched-cops-beat-kids-1.406863

[accessed 22 July 2011]

"I work for a children's rights organisation in the UK called Street Action and have been to Durban on previous visits to liaise with local NGOs that work with street children. I hardly thought I'd be confronted by blatant human rights violations while on holiday here, though.  "I raced outside and across to the hillock opposite the museum, and saw three Metro police officials lashing out at the children with sjamboks.  "My wife was documenting the events with her camera cellphone from the flat, and filmed the burning of the children's clothes and other belongings by the police officials.

Police did not beat streetkids

Barbara Cole, Independent Online (IOL) News, July 7 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/police-did-not-beat-streetkids-1.407296

[accessed 22 July 2011]

But the Daily News reader, who watched the proceedings from her flat in the nearby Caribbean block of flats, was adamant that while the police burned the children's rubbish, plastic and cardboard, they did not hurt them.  The children, whom she thought were aged between 12 and 18 years, had been in the same area for weeks, hanging up their clothes, urinating and littering the area. They also used a nearby tap and left it running, she said.

Food first, then we talk politics

Katlego Moeng, The Times, Jun 23, 2008

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2008/06/23/food-first-then-we-talk-politics/

[accessed 5 January 2017]

Despite the cold weather, Vusi was wearing a short-sleeved shirt when The Times spoke to him. He shivered in the winter-afternoon breeze.  His only sources of warmth are a fire, which other street children gather around, and a threadbare blanket he shares with a younger friend.  “It is painful living here. I just want a place to stay and I would love to go back to school,” he said.  But Vusi can’t go home.

“My father died when I was still very small and I don’t know the rest of my family because they don’t like my mother ... she drinks a lot. So I have to go out and beg for money to get something to eat,” he said.

The child-rights organisation South African Missing and Exploited Children estimates that 60000 children live on South Africa’s streets. According to its statistics, about 1000 children are murdered in South Africa every year, 24000 child sexual abuse cases are reported annually and 1500 children disappear.  Like Vusi, many youths are not reflected in these figures because they are not reported missing and are not registered with a shelter.

Prostituted girls’ parents not found

Nivashni Nair, Jun 18, 2008

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/p1374/

[accessed 5 January 2017]

Their parents did not try to find them and it seems the only person who wanted them was the pimp who sold them.  Durban police have not found the parents of two girls, aged between eight and 12, whom they rescued two weeks ago. A man had allegedly been selling them on the city’s notorious Mahatma Gandhi Road (formerly Point Road) for sex.

The girls lived on the streets and the police have not established where they come from.  They are being cared for at a safe house but, according to those who assist street children, the likelihood of the girls returning to the streets is high.

“Right now, these two little girls do not realise that they have been saved — they feel like they are being punished. One has to understand the mentality of a street child to understand why they run away,” he said.

“I am almost certain that these girls are missing the friends they bonded with on the streets and they also miss the money they were getting from the pimp.” sccp

Breaking ties with the street

Vivian Attwood, Independent Online (IOL) News, June 9 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/breaking-ties-with-the-street-1.403726

[accessed 22 July 2011]

Fundu Shezi (nicknamed "Bandlani") has just turned 20. He has spent more than half his life on the streets of Durban. His skull and face are badly scarred and there is an aura of great sadness about him.

"When I was a baby my mother did not want me," he says.  "She threw me into an open sewer at Umlazi. A social worker found me and took me to the police. They put me in the Ocean View Children's Home.  "Later I went to a foster mom, but I was unhappy. She took the government grant, but was unkind about my mother. She was looking after five children, but she drank a lot. I was with her from six years old and when I was 10 I went on the streets.  "As I grew up, I started to smoke cigarettes, and then zol (dagga). I became addicted to glue on the streets. When I came here I decided to leave those things.  "I have been told that I have a brother and a sister who live in a place of safety. I would like to meet them one day. I have a lot of anger towards my mother for throwing me away. I dream about it all the time. How could she do that? I have so many questions.

Biko's lessons for today

Vivian Attwood, Independent Online (IOL) News, June 2 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/biko-s-lessons-for-today-1.402840

[accessed 22 July 2011]

Bulelwa Hewitt said the one redeeming feature of her former life on the streets was the spirit of caring she experienced among the other children.  "We shared the little we had, and showed ubuntu. Street children have lost everything else, but they cling to that vital bond. When one of them is sick, the others nurture that child."

A brief, brutal existence

Vivian Attwood, Independent Online (IOL) News, May 29 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/a-brief-brutal-existence-1.402460

[accessed 22 July 2011]

SCORN - "Zodwa* fled to the streets of Durban because her mother sold her to a stranger for sex. She was nine years old. Two years later, she tested positive for HIV.   "Over the years she has learned to survive through prostitution and the support of fellow group members," Hewitt explained of another street girl.  "She learned to sniff glue very early on to smother fear and physical pain. She lives on a corner near the harbour with the members of her group. Truck drivers stop at night and beckon her and her friends to their vehicles.   "For Zodwa, 'work' involves performing sexual acts on truck drivers and local men, letting them penetrate her fragile body. If you ask her about this 'work' she is ashamed. She sees herself as the dirty one.  "Sometimes she gets really sick. She rolls herself into a ball under a pile of old clothes and cardboard on the street corner, shutting the world out for days on end. She gets thin. Sleep is an escape. She is bright and informed. She knows exactly what happens when you have full-blown Aids. She waits, just her and her glue bottle."

The glue that blinds

Independent Online (IOL) News, May 28 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/the-glue-that-blinds-1.402261

[accessed 22 July 2011]

The young boy slumps against his crutches on a Point Road street corner, eyes misty and unfocused. His feet are twisted grotesquely, flipperlike, his skin grey from malnutrition.  He scans the throng, looking for his supplier. She will bring her covered basket, containing the glass bottles he needs to get him through another day. His skin itches with anxiety as he awaits his fix.  For just a couple of rands children living on the streets of Durban can block out the ugly reality they inhabit, and descend into a numbing parallel world for a little while; a world where there is no cold or hunger, strangers don't point and stare, and loneliness doesn't feature.

Hope is something to live for

By Vivian Attwood, Independent Online (IOL) News, May 21 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/hope-is-something-to-live-for-1.401328

[accessed 22 July 2011]

Commander*, 15, followed his elder brother on to the streets a number of years ago. He wants to return home, but the pull of the streets is strong. He expressed doubt that he would be able to be reintegrated into his community.  "The streets are no good, though. There is no respect and you cannot learn," he said.  "Many of the children sniff glue to take away stress, but it hurts our legs and knees. It's not easy to quickly leave glue because it is in our blood.

"It is dangerous for other children to come to the streets, but they are always running away from something. Some run because their mothers are not interested in them. That is my story. I have hope. One day I will go home. One day I will go to school again. Yes, I will go to school!"

Fuelled by the desire to make a difference

Vivian Attwood, Independent Online (IOL) News, May 23 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/fuelled-by-the-desire-to-make-a-difference-1.401711

[accessed 22 July 2011]

The loss of family to HIV and Aids, poverty and abuse are some of the reasons children end up on city streets. Mellis related a recent incident that brought her to tears.  "It was pouring with rain and I found a small boy huddled in a doorway. His face wasn't familiar, so I stopped to question him.   "He said he was 13 years old and came from Umlazi. Both his parents had died, followed by the aunt who was caring for him. He had no one left in the world."

Putting street kids' needs first

Vivien Attwood, Independent Online (IOL) News, May 22 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/putting-street-kids-needs-first-1.401506

[accessed 22 July 2011]

SKEWED - "Readers need to examine the issues of why the children come to the city, and what happens to them on the streets. The popular misconception is that: 'Kids like it on the streets'. In our experience they always run from something. There is always a 'push factor'.

"Umthombo sees reintegration as the only viable future for street children. The organisation provides both temporary support and long-term assistance to help former street children find new families or mend fractured family relationships. Their new environment is regularly monitored to make sure it is conducive to healthy childhood development.

"When the government subsidy dries up as a child turns 18, he or she has no option but to return to street life. If they had been reintegrated into communities instead, they would have a greater sense of purpose and belonging."

From scavenger to survivor

Vivian Attwood, Independent Online (IOL) News, May 20 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/from-scavenger-to-survivor-1.401119

[accessed 22 July 2011]

DISCARDED LIVES - The children's activist was born into a community with little hope for the future, beyond finding the next drink or cigarette. Her mother and step-father lived in a makeshift shack on the edge of the East London municipal waste dump.  Bulelwa and her two younger siblings, Nosiphiwe and Bulelani, spent their days scouring the dump for anything that could be eaten or sold. Their mother kept them out of school for that purpose.

"We moved like that, back and forth. There were people on the street living under plastic bags and in small boxes like dog kennels. Other kids from the squatter camp joined us. We became like a family unit and looked out for one another."

"Life on the streets wasn't really better than on the dump, but there was more chance of finding food," she said.  "At night when the restaurants closed we would wait to grab the food they threw away. We also begged for money and then we either bought food or benzine or thinners to sniff.  "It made me see strange things, like snakes coming out of the sea, but I wasn't scared. It sent me into a world of my own, and helped block out the past. It took away my hunger and made me bolder."  Bulelwa and her siblings were headed down a one-way road. Malnourished and substance addicted, they were bound to contract disease and die young. A fellow street child, an older youth, had been observing the little band, and intervened.

Inside South Africa's townships

Martin Wroe, The Sunday Times, March 2, 2008

www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/travel/Destinations/Africa_Mid_East/article81532.ece

[accessed 15 October 2012]

A group of 25 young people, mainly boys, with maybe four teenage girls, is huddled against the long wall of a cheap hotel on a downtown Durban side street. Old chairs and abandoned crates comprise their makeshift furniture, ragged blankets and stained sleeping bags their only warmth. A few sniff glue from plastic bottles. A sign hanging above them reads: “Daily accommodation, open 24 hours.”

“I did go home once,” explains Tabiso, who was 14 when his mother told him she couldn’t afford to keep him. “But there was no place for me, so I came back, because all my friends are here now.” Not quite all of them. Some have died, victims of HIV/Aids or casual violence, but Tabiso is putting his hope in the person leading our unusual summer holiday from the UK.  “Tom,” he says confidently, “is going to teach me to surf, and that will be the job that will get me off the streets.”

Police raped us - street kids

Carvin Goldstone, Independent Online (IOL) News, March 8 2008

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/police-raped-us-street-kids-1.392374

[accessed 22 July 2011]

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2008/03/08/police-raped-us-street-kids/

[accessed 5 January 2017]

Street children living near Albert Park allege that two of the girls who have been living on the perimeter of the park were raped by members of the Durban Metro Police - and one of them is now missing.  According to careworker Sipho Nyaka, whose NGO, World Back to God, helps look after street children, he has seen police officers arresting street children and found girls stripped naked and handcuffed on more than one occasion.

The other one who said she was also raped was still with the group of street children in the park on Friday.  However, a teenage boy who was arrested a few weeks ago has allegedly been missing since his arrest.

Durban policemen accused of abusing street kids

South African Broadcasting Corporation SABC News, February 23, 2008

196.35.74.234/south_africa/crime1justice/0,2172,164692,00.html

[accessed 2 October 2011]

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2008/02/23/durban-policemen-accused-of-abusing-street-kids/

[accessed 19 January 2017]

A Durban organisation helping street children has called for harsh action against members of the Ethekwini Metro police who allegedly sexually assaulted children living in Albert Park.

It‘s easier for street kids to beg than to go to school

Shaanaaz de Jager, January 8, 2008

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2008/01/08/p1205/

[accessed 5 January 2017]

Maranatha homeless shelter director Trudi Basson finds that in most interviews with street children they will lie about their schooling.  “They will say they‘ve reached Grade 4, but after educational tests you‘ll find that the child only reached Grade 2 or has been out of school so long that those missed years are a big gap in their schooling.”  Basson said smaller children were often used by bigger ones to earn an income by begging on the streets. This was because the older ones usually could not earn an income themselves.  “They most probably can‘t find work because they are illiterate as well,” Basson said. “You‘ll find that sometimes the little ones are victimised and forced to stand on the street and beg. Some younger children are also on drugs.

“They don‘t see going to school as a solution. After all, why must they go to school if they can get money on the street right now? And, unfortunately, drugs are also available. Going to school is not an instant solution to their problem. It doesn‘t solve poverty at home.”

 “You often find children who don‘t have school shoes do not want to go to school. They are too shy to go to school barefoot.” Instead, some of these children grow up illiterate and are forced to help support their families.

Joburg lets its children speak

Emily Visser, Official Website of the City of Johannesburg, 13 December 2007

www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2002&Itemid=216

[accessed 22 July 2011]

NON-PHYSICAL NEEDS - The message that came out of the summit was clear - giving shelter to these children was not enough. Many of the children in shelters seemed to receive adequate physical care in the form of shelter, clothing, food and schooling. But their emotional and vocational needs were not being catered for satisfactorily.

Two breakaway sessions took place: in the first the children spoke freely about their experiences. All made "similar comments about their situations, and identified [similar] difficulties and shared aspirations for future improvements". Difficulties included being subjected to further abuse by so-called caregivers, constantly facing danger, being bored because of a lack of recreational facilities and peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol and engage in prostitution.

It also emerged that they found the term "street children" stigmatised them; they, in turn, saw themselves only as "ordinary human beings".

Despite the difficulties they experienced, the majority indicated that they preferred living in shelters to their own homes. "Many children acknowledged that the shelters were safer than their homes and that they were receiving an education," the report noted.

South Africa: Ethekwini City Manager Extends Good Wishes

BuaNews (Tshwane), eThekwini, 13 December 2007

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2007/12/13/south-africa-ethekwini-city-manager-extends-good-wishes/

[accessed 19 January 2017]

The city manager said these children continue to resist all attempts to provide them with support, despite the city's best efforts.  "Businesses and many residents continue to ask me to clear them away and whilst we do provide as much social welfare support we can, they keep coming back."

Around the same time a group of residents had been evicted onto the street.  "It was late in the day and one of the terrible storms was pelting down on us. One person died and we were approached to provide tents to shelter these truly poor people.  "We did so, even though as a very short term measure but the surrounding residents did not see it that way and criticised us."

On Wednesday night, said Mr Sutcliffe, one of the city's stormwater drains burst and over 50 shacks were washed away.  "We urgently put up a tent in a park and will provide sanitation on a temporary basis.  "We will, through our housing and other programmes, eventually ensure everyone has access to sanitation and shelter, but we cannot do that overnight. We are trying to be a caring city, but also recognise that has unintended consequences."

Granny forgives petrol killer

Tania Broughton, Independent Online (IOL) News, December 12 2007

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/granny-forgives-petrol-killer-1.382394

[accessed 22 July 2011]

"I can also take judicial notice of the fact that the deceased were street children.  "I have personally dealt with cases in this court where street children have committed crimes such as robbery and murder," he said, referring to a specific case in which a family living in their car on the beachfront were attacked by street children and the father was shot and killed.  While that crime had been far more serious than the theft of a bicycle, "it is an indication of what street children can do", the judge said.

American musician takes on the system

Nina Harvey, People's Post, 05/12/2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 22 July 2011]

"A lot of organisations aimed at helping these kids simply come in and try and get them to conform without first discovering what their needs are. But in order to really help them you need to build a foundation first and not just go in and tell them what to do.

"People seem to either think they are delinquents, or they pity them, thinking they must have come from an abusive background. Yes, many of their previous circumstances may have been tough, but what people don't realise is that the street life is addictive. These kids have the freedom to move around as they please. Many of them will choose to stay where they are, living by their own rules."

And that, Brown says, is the greatest problem. "The structure in this country is flawed. Children here are making decisions for themselves they are too young to make."

Street children sentenced for stabbing jockey to death

Legalbrief Today, (Category: In Court, Issue No: 1968), 04 December 2007

www.legalbrief.co.za/article.php?story=20071204131215371

[accessed 22 July 2011]

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2007/12/04/four-sentenced-in-jockey-stabbing/

[accessed 19 January 2017]

All four, aged between 16 and 19, pleaded guilty in the Port Elizabeth New Law Court to murdering Boutell for his cellphone, wallet and a pair of shoes.

Street rescue

Canaan Mdletshe, Sowetan, 04 December 2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 22 July 2011]

The MEC for social development in KwaZulu-Natal, Meshack Hadebe, has opened his door to prostitutes.  Hadebe said this after his unprecedented meeting at the weekend with about 3000 ladies of the night and street children to discuss their future.  Speaking to Sowetan after the meeting in Pietermaritzburg, Hadebe said he was impressed with the turnout and the positive response.  Hadebe said as government they want to help them restore their dignity and start living a prosperous life.  “We encouraged them to start their own businesses and we will fund them.

Knock on our doors, says MEC

Sibusiso Mboto, Independent Online (IOL) News, December 3 2007

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/knock-on-our-doors-says-mec-1.381143

[accessed 22 July 2011]

Prostitutes and street children wishing to change their lives for the better need only approach the social development department, MEC Meshack Radebe said last week.  Addressing a function in Pietermaritzburg on Friday, Radebe said there were many opportunities for the children and prostitutes to improve their lives.  Recently, the Provincial social development department received a R24-million windfall from its national counterpart.

Alleged child trafficker walks free

Raffaella Delle Donne, Independent Online (IOL) News, December 1 2007 at 01:09pm

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/alleged-child-trafficker-walks-free-1.380989

[accessed 23 December 2010]

Lured by promises of work and a new life in the big city, children as young as 13 are being brought to Cape Town from rural towns to work on fruit and flower stalls.  When they are not working, these children are prisoners in a Wendy house in the back garden of their employer. They are fed, but rarely paid.  Many run away and, alone in a strange city, take to the streets to join Cape Town's brigade of street children. htsc

Where are Durban's street children?

Sharlene Packree and Heinz de Boer, Independent Online (IOL) News, November 22 2007

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/where-are-durban-s-street-children-1.379838

[accessed 22 July 2011]

Durban's usually bustling street child colonies have all but disappeared from the city after what is believed to be a major police crackdown ahead of this week's Fifa preliminary draw.  City officials remain at odds over the fate of dozens of children, who are believed to have been rounded up by SAPS and Metro Police units before being taken to Westville Prison.  Social workers say this happened after the children and some adults with small children were charged for loitering and given fines they cannot afford. Some may spend up to 90 days behind bars.

Kids ‘primed for sex jobs’

Aly Verbaan, City Vision, 01 November 2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 22 July 2011]

Cape Town already has a reputation as a child sex destination and with an estimated 10 million foreigners expected to visit the country in three years’ time, those who work with street children are increasingly concerned.

Compounding the problem for street children is that the general public is mostly apathetic and unmoved by their plight.  The children themselves are so hardened by life on the streets that they can be impossible to work with, even for those trained in the field.  An independent researcher has commented in her reports that their “dislikeableness” contributes to offenders feeling justified in their abuse of the children, who are often seen as seen as dangerous criminals rather than victims.

'Angel of Soweto' case thrown out

BBC News, 9 October 2007

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7035179.stm

[accessed 22 July 2011]

VICTORY DANCE - Known to her pupils as "Mama Jackey", the Ithuteng Trust school principal had been celebrated for providing shelter and an education to thousands of traumatised and destitute children.  Their harrowing tales drew donations of millions of dollars from luminaries such as Mr Mandela and US TV chat show host Oprah Winfrey.  But a South African TV documentary, Carte Blanche, a year ago revealed claims that Ms Maarohanye pressured pupils into reciting fabricated tales of murdered parents, rape and destitution.

The programme also alleged that some donations had "gone astray" while children at the school were going hungry.  Subsequently newspaper reporters said they found it difficult to get pupils and staff at the school in Klipspruit - in Soweto township near Johannesburg - to speak about the allegations, because they said they were terrified of "Mama".

Help TUT students to help street children

Yolande Kortjass, Equilibrium Incorporated, 17 Sep 2007

www.bizcommunity.com/Noticeboard/196/48/6428.html

[accessed 22 July 2011]

We are a group of students from the public relations, business communication and international communications department. Itumeleng Shelter is a shelter that only takes care of boys. It can currently only take care of 18 boys ranging from 0-18 years of age.  The main purpose of the shelter is to rehabilitate the boys and place them back with their families. The shelter also provides services to male drop-ins, who do not live at the shelter but are being helped with food, clean clothes and therapy.  The shelter is a two-bedroomed house, with nine boys sharing a room. They are in need of food, clothes, computers, renovations of building, school uniforms, bedding and blankets.

City's heart is hardening, say homeless

Rafaella Delle Donne, Independent Online (IOL) News, July 15 2007

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/city-s-heart-is-hardening-say-homeless-1.362044

[accessed 22 July 2011]

In the same week that thousands of blankets were distributed to shelters and charity organisations as part of GoodHopeFM's blanket drive, a homeless man claims his wife died of exposure after police took her blanket.

Under the new by-law, begging and sleeping on the streets is illegal. Essentially, it criminalises poverty, which means homeless people are resorting to hiding from police and organisations such as the Sea Point Community Police Forum to avoid arrest.

Jackson of Ons Plek said although street people do their share of annoying people, "the by-law reflects a hardening of hearts towards street people".

Performance theatre as empowermentUsing energy of street at Grahamstown

Candice Jansen, Cape Times (South Africa), July 5, 2007

www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-167045367.html

[partially accessed 21 July 2011 - access restricted]

One such initiative is the Art of the Street Project (ASP), which trains and cultivates drama talent using street children from the Eluxolweni Shelter in Grahamstown.  Since 2003, it has provided an outlet of positive self- expression for these youth.  Run by UBOM!, an Eastern Cape drama company, every year it stages a street theatre production for the festival, based on members' life stories and experiences.

Streetwise kids foil jailbreak

Christel Raubenheimer, Beeld, Pretoria, 20/06/2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 22 July 2011]

The man was very casual and after following him for a short distance Hofmeyr stopped next to him and told the boys to grab him.  "He resisted, but these are street children: they softened him up a bit."  The boys climbed back in with their new passenger and returned him to the prison.

The boys, who range in age from 12 to 18, said they were a bit apprehensive of the escapee.  Apparently he did not say much.  Aletta Dreyer of the Crossroad Shelter said the children were all there because they wanted to achieve something in life.

Muizenberg drug problems running high

Ciska Verster, 19 June 2007

152.111.1.87/argief/berigte/dieburger/2007/06/19/PQPP/1/cvmuiz.html

[accessed 22 July 2011]

www.navy.mil.za/navyband/isivunguvungu/Simonstown_newspaper_articles_2007.pdf

[accessed 5 January 2017]

Gang bosses have also been making optimum use of street children, who police cannot fully prosecute.  "These children are acting as 'high-risk' drug runners between False Bay College students and Village drug-dealers - a problem police can do very little about," Allan Dillon says.

As Director Hagen admits, children caught for crimes can only be held for a maximum of 24-hours by police, after which they are absorbed back into the Social Welfare system. "They are mostly released back into their parents' custody - who cannot control them - as there just aren't enough places of safety to hold them. We find ourselves continuously re-arresting the same children."

Muizenberg might soon see a "drop-in centre" for street children established in conjunction with The Homestead Shelter in Cape Town, says MID board member Joanne Hichens.  "The primary purpose of the centre will be to get children into some sort of stable residential care, but failing this, the centre should at least be a means of keeping track of the children's movements and behaviour. This information will be shared with the relevant authorities," Hichens says.

Painful rejection as street kids try to make their way back

Tabelo Timse, June 20, 2007

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2007/06/20/painful-rejection-as-street-kids-try-to-make-their-way-back/

[accessed 5 January 2017]

Former street children trying to turn their lives around are finding it difficult to enter schools because they are either far behind in their grades or have never even been to school.  Maranatha Streetworkers Trust director Trudi Basson said children who had lived on the street were often rejected because they were far behind or too old to start.  She said the trust had developed a gap-year programme for the children to follow before going to mainstream schools as otherwise they tended not to cope. The programme included home schooling with the help of volunteers.  Children as old as 13 had never been to school and sometimes they did not even have birth certificates, so the trust volunteers had to estimate their ages, said Basson.

Wave of homeless youths overwhelming Joburg

Jeremy Gordin, Independent Online (IOL) News, June 17 2007

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/wave-of-homeless-youths-overwhelming-joburg-1.357963

[accessed 22 July 2011]

A good night's sleep is also hard to come by.  Three different groups of street children - one from Hillbrow, the second from the Joubert Park area, and another group of girls from End Street - said that Metro police habitually set their blankets on fire, apparently as a means of forcing them off the streets and into shelters.

"Sometimes the policemen laugh; they think it's a big joke," said one boy.  Social workers, outreach workers and staff at the shelters do not doubt such stories.  Mildred Mhlanga, of Johannesburg Child Welfare's Thembalethu Project, said that a number of girls from the project had watched as Metro police lifted their blankets from the rubbish bins where they were stored and set them alight.

Homeless bear the brunt of the big chill

Sumayya Ismail, Mail & Guardian Online, Johannesburg, May 23 2007

mg.co.za/article/2007-05-23-homeless-bear-the-brunt-of-big-chill

[accessed 22 July 2011]

In Braamfontein, Johannesburg, under the M1 North highway, a group of street children huddles together for warmth. Metres away, seemingly oblivious to the morning traffic, a middle-aged homeless man lays down on the ground, adjusting the heap of white dustbin bags blanketed around him.

The centre in Simmonds Street has handed out about 1 500 blankets, and expects to give out about 5 000 in total. For meals, it caters to about 400 people in the morning and another 600 in the afternoon, primarily serving soup and bread, but also curries and rice, depending on the donations it receives.

Shelter Programme

Twilight Children

www.twilightchildren.co.za/about-us/programmes/shelter-aftercare-and-reunification/item/58-shelter-programme.html

[accessed 11 Aug  2013]

SHELTER PROGRAMME - The Twilight Children Shelter programme is a voluntary residential facility for children who no longer wish to reside on the street.  During their stay in the shelter, Twilight Children assumes the role of 'parents' to these children and provides for their physical and emotional needs.They help extensively with reunification of Children with their parents in circumstances of poverty. We house these children at Twilight during the week to allow them to go to schools and at weekends and holidays we give them transport money and food parcels to take home so they can spend time with their parents.  

Children are looked after by child care workers on a 24 hour basis. Their role is to provide whatever it takes to ensure the successful rehabilitation and reinteration of these marginalised youngsters back into mainstream society.  The children attend formal schools both in Soweto and Johannesburg, and social religious and cultural activities are arranged to provide them opportunities for personal growth.

Port. priest brings hope to homeless children

Laois Nationalist, May 17, 2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

[accessed 22 July 2011]

There are hundreds of children, both boys and girls, who live on the streets. For most street children a cardboard box and newspaper are their only source of shelter. Fr. Michael's support, guidance and training programmes are often their only opportunity to get off the streets.

The Learn to Live Project provides one of the few educational and skills training programmes in Capetown that is aimed specifically at street children. "We aim to improve their self-image, reduce aggressiveness and bring structure into their lives, to make them employable. The ultimate goal is to re-integrate street youth into mainstream society," says Fr. Michael.

The Sixteen Plus Programme is an outreach programme designed around the needs of youths over 16 years, the majority of whom have lived on the streets for many years.

Huge rise in number of children living on Mandela Bay streets

Lynn Williams, April 18, 2007

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2007/04/18/huge-rise-in-number-of-children-living-on-mandela-bay-streets/

[accessed 5 January 2017]

The growing number of street children in Port Elizabeth has come under the spotlight as residents accuse them of housebreaking, theft and petty crimes in different residential areas.

He said the children were committing crimes like housebreaking, snatching handbags, breaking into motor vehicles, pick-pocketing and stealing beach-goers‘ belongings.  “I don‘t know exactly how many kids there are but they live under the Humewood bridge, and the groups are getting bigger and bigger,” Koll said.  “They have to fend for themselves so they become involved in criminal activities. Children as young as 11 already have criminal cases against them.”

Where being poor could become a criminal offence

Bronwen Dyke, Pambazuka News, 2007-03-15, Issue 295

www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/40305

[accessed 22 July 2011]

Cape Town's recent by-law, the 'City Streets, Public Places and Public Nuisance Act', not only adds to the vulnerability of the homeless, especially street children, by dispersing them to outlying locations around the city where there are no support mechanicisms, but may also lead to the criminalisation of poverty and homelessness in South Africa.

Social issues on agenda for Inner City Summit

Official website of the City of Johannesburg, 12 February 2007

www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1321&Itemid=282

[accessed 22 July 2011]

SPECIAL GROUPS - Certain groups need recognition and research to provide an understanding of their size and needs.

Street children – there doesn't appear to be a coherent strategy for dealing with street children. There is also a growing problem of homeless children who are HIV/Aids orphans - including foreign HIV/Aids orphans. Access to funding and how to "legalise" the foreign children needs to be discussed.

40 000 child prostitutes - Street children vulnerable to sex trade

A. Bolowana, 2004

www.themercury.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=283&fArticleId=2198903

[Last access date unavailable]

STATISTICS - The gangs, he said, gave the boys food and money in return for sexual favours.   The source, who did not want to be named for fear of intimidation, said: "They buy them food, they offer protection in exchange for sexual favours."  He said he believed that half of the boys on the streets had been sexually molested, sodomised and raped.  "It is a very secretive thing, not talked about," he said.

Are 30,000 children really ‘trafficked’ in South Africa every year? The claim exaggerates the problem

Researched by Kate Wilkinson and Sintha Chiumia, Africa Check, 18 October 2013

africacheck.org/reports/are-30000-kids-trafficked-into-south-africas-sex-trade-every-year-the-claim-exaggerates-the-problem/

[accessed 5 January 2017]

As many as “30,000 kids trafficked in SA” read a headline in The Times in October 2013. A similar article appeared in the Pretoria News, suggesting that “at least 30,000 children” are trafficked and prostituted annually in South Africa and “50 per cent of them are under the age of 14”.  The paper attributed the claim to Roxanne Rawlins of Freedom Climb, “a project that works with trafficked people around the globe”.

Rawlins told Africa Check via email that the figure of 30,000 originated from an International Organisation for Migration Report on “internal trafficking” in South Africa which was published in 2008, a “US AIDS” research report (she may have meant USAID) and a study by the National Centre for Justice and Rule of Law, based at the University of Mississippi school of law in the United States.

However, the International Organisation for Migration’s 2008 report “No Experience Necessary”: The Internal Trafficking of Persons in South Africa does not estimate that there are 30,000 children currently being trafficked for the purpose of prostitution in South Africa. Nor does it claim that 50% are under the age of 14.

Project raises R150 000 for homeless kids

Independent Online (IOL) News, January 23 2007

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/project-raises-r150-000-for-homeless-kids-1.312016

[accessed 23 July 2011]

Each of the three beneficiaries received a R50 000 contribution from the project.  Learn to Live, which provides education for abandoned children, will spend the money on educational workshops and life skills training in the months to come.  The Homestead, with its mission to help homeless boys reconstruct their lives, will invest in its family re-integration programme while Ons Plek, a shelter that takes in homeless girls, aims to improve its community re-integration programme.

Children of a Lesser God: Durban’s legacy of poverty

Saranel Benjamin, Pambazuka News, 2007-01-17 -- Issue 286

www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/39203

[accessed 23 July 2011]

Recently we met Thabo, a little boy of 12. He has been on the street for just two weeks. Both his parents died and his granny couldn’t afford to take care of him and his two sisters so she sent them out of the house. He doesn’t know where his two sisters are. They got separated on the streets. He looks like a fish out of water on that sunny yet grotty part of the Durban beachfront. He should be playing on the beach, frolicking in the water. Instead he sits outside a supermarket not knowing how to go about asking these grown-up strangers for food or money. His heart hasn’t hardened enough to allow him to make that decision to steal as yet. Nor has he been integrated into any of the other packs of street children where he would be taught the skills of surviving on the street. Instead, Thabo’s broken heart and hungry stomach forces him to stick his little, innocent hands into a garbage bin and scrummage inside it with the hope that some grown-up stranger has thrown away his or her lunch.

One day I will help children like me

The Scotsman, January 01, 2007

scotsman.vlex.co.uk/vid/one-day-i-will-help-children-like-80125626

[partially accessed 23 July 2011 - access restricted]

One Sunday morning in 1958, 12-year-old Judy Westwater packed a small case with her school books and uniform, a bar of soap and a comb and a few pieces of stolen fruit. Abandoned by her violent and abusive father in a residential hotel room in Johannesburg, and with no money to pay the rent owed to the landlord, she headed for the only place she could think of: the street. Finding a tiny shed nestled in the wall of an alleyway, she squeezed herself in there with her few belongings. It was to be her home for the next nine months.

Book Review: Street Kid: One child's desperate fight for survival  by Judy Westwater

www.tonight.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=3409249&fSectionId=375&fSetId=251

[Last access date unavailable]

www.harpercollins.com.au/9780007279999/#sm.0000lxazomy2fcrrxpa13c6mj0fvj

[accessed 5 January 2017]

I am wary of trivialising her story by reducing it to a list of horrors, but here's a short version as contained in the publicity blurb: "Abducted by her psychotic spiritualist father as a child and kept like a dog in his backyard, Judy Westwater suffered in a Manchester orphanage run by nuns before being taken to South Africa, where she ended up living wild on the streets of Hillbrow and joining the circus.

Determined that her childhood experiences should in some way give meaning to her life, Judy has in adulthood worked tirelessly to help homeless children in South Africa - in the very places she herself suffered."

The book ends when Westwater, aged 17, returned to the UK from South Africa, to seek her mother and sisters. The reunion was anything but loving. It is then noted that Westwater inherited a small legacy and she used this to start projects with street children in South Africa, Mexico and elsewhere.

Children attacked sex charge vicar

Ruth Keeling, Oxford Mail, 10th November 2006

www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/1014564.children_attacked_sex_charge_vicar/

[accessed 23 July 2011]

An Oxfordshire clergyman accused of child abuse needed a police escort from court after being attacked by South African street kids.  Father Tony Hogg, 52, appeared before a magistrate in Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday accused of indecently assaulting a 10-year-old street child in April.

R1m children‘s home officially launched at Blanco, George

Cathy Dippnall, Garden Route Correspondent, The Herald, 2006/10/20

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

[accessed 23 July 2011]

A new R1-million initiative aimed at keeping destitute children and their parents off the street was launched by George executive mayor Bazil Petrus at an official sod turning in Blanco, George, yesterday.

The main aim of these meetings was finding ways of helping the growing population of street children who have become a problem in the town.

R2 million boost for smile-a-child project

Tando Mfengwana, Bush Radio 89.5fm Newsroom, 09 October 2006

bushradionews.blogspot.com/2006/10/r2-million-boost-for-smile-child.html

[accessed 23 July 2011]

Cape Town’s Smile-a-Child project has received with a 2 million rand boost from the authorities.  The project designed to take homeless children off the streets, has been struggling to deal with the growing influx of street children.

Officials estimate that for every child taken off the street, two more join the ranks of street children.  In Cape Town an estimated 40 percent of people living in the street are children,

No bail for children suspected of murder

South African Press Association SAPA, October 6 2006

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/no-bail-for-children-suspected-of-murder-1.296617

[accessed 23 July 2011]

The Herald Online reported that the incident raised concerns about increasing violence displayed by street children in the area.  A police officer, Gerald Kota, involved in the rehabilitation of street children told The Herald that street children are becoming entangled with "drug lords" who use them to break into homes and even encourage them to kill.

Bills to protect kids linger in legal limbo

Derrick Spies, Safety and Security Reporter, The Herald, 06 October 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

[accessed 23 July 2011]

They haunt city alleys and pavements, hands outstretched, eyes pleading, as they beg for a few cents and a bite to eat.  They are a sign of a society in crisis, but are seen as a social nuisance. They are children – but whose responsibility are they?  Many people see street kids as a nuisance. They are regarded as vandals, petty criminals and future prostitutes, and the police are expected to take them off the streets.

From street child to drumming master

Sipokazi Maposa, Independent Online (IOL) News, September 19 2006

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/from-street-child-to-drumming-master-1.294288

[accessed 23 July 2011]

Two years ago Ncedo Ngomba, 14, was homeless on the streets of Cape Town, sniffing glue with other street children.  He survived cold nights on concrete and constant fighting with his peers for food and shelter. But he had a change of heart after two years and moved to the Homestead, a children's shelter in the city centre.

Today Ncedo not only has a roof over his head, but he has turned his life around and is involved in a number of projects. From education to sport and music, these projects have helped him develop. But there is one project that is especially close to Ncedo's heart: the Steelband Project Western Cape, which teaches music to youngsters from poor communities.

Street kids get their kicks from soccer

Melanie Peters, Independent Online (IOL) News, September 10 2006

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/street-kids-get-their-kicks-from-soccer-1.293022

[accessed 23 July 2011]

Sport plays an important role in the rehabilitation of street children and in the transformation of youth from disadvantaged communities.  Cape Town's deputy mayor, Andrew Arnold, told the Street Children's Soccer Tournament in Green Point on Saturday that sport could keep children away from drugs, gangs and other social evils.  About 32 teams of street children took part in the event which was jointly organised by the city, the Cape Town Partnership and the fledgling Western Cape Street Children's Soccer League.

Cops warn of new smash 'n grab tactics

Fiona Gounden, Independent Online (IOL) News, August 12 2006

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/cops-warn-of-new-smash-n-grab-tactics-1.289094

[accessed 23 July 2011]

"We have had many cases where criminals have stuck chewing gum on car doors to alert their accomplices. However, in most cases, street children are being used because motorists don't really suspect them. While these kids are begging from motorists, they look into cars and check for valuables.

Poverty, drugs driving kids to sell sex on street

Derrick Spies, Safety and Security Reporter, The Herald, August 10, 2006

povertynewsblog.blogspot.com/2006/08/south-africa-poverty-drugs-driving.html

[accessed 21 July 2011]

“There are a large number of street children in the area who are turning to this as a way to fend for themselves,” he said. “What is needed, is early intervention that will take the children off the streets before they get drawn into that lifestyle.”

Ebenezer Church pastor Neville Goldman said the church was aware of the problem and was very concerned about children who had run away from home and turned to crime and prostitution to survive

“There is definitely a problem in the northern areas of children who go missing, and of parents who cannot account for the whereabouts of their children.

Mother City's street children under the spotlight

The Star, August 7, 2006

www.bishop-accountability.org/news2006/07_08/2006_08_07_Star_MotherCitys.htm

[accessed 23 July 2011]

The horrifying fact is that on the streets of our cities, homeless boys are regularly sexually abused by a growing number of paedophiles. The street kids call these men "bunnies" - a term describing the mostly middle-aged white men who pay them to have sex.

According to activists, street children are collected at night at designated pick-up spots, yet the public remains largely unaware of what is taking place.

Many NGOs established to provide care and shelter for the city's street children turn a blind eye and, according to some, the police say they have "bigger fish to fry" than sexual predators preying on boys living on the margins of society.

Street children are hit hard by the big freeze

Thabiso Thakali, Johannesburg, August 4, 2006

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2006/08/04/street-children-are-hit-hard-by-the-big-freeze/

[accessed 5 January 2017]

As the freezing temperatures and heavy rains continue to wreak havoc in some parts of the country, homeless people and street children have been hit the hardest.

Johannesburg Emergency spokesman Malcolm Midgely said people living on the streets were at risk of hypothermia as their body temperature continued to drop.   “Hypothermia can be fatal because a person’s blood circulation is severely affected.”

Street Samaritan attacked by those he helps

Fiona Gounden, Independent Online (IOL) News, July 29 2006

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/street-samaritan-attacked-by-those-he-helps-1.287270

[accessed 23 July 2011]

A Durban ward councillor and founder of a street children advocacy group was viciously attacked by the very people he's been helping for the past few years.

Khoza … was … cornered by a group of about 10 boys aged from about 12 to 20 … They stoned me and stabbed me. It was terrible as I have worked closely with young people and it felt so sad to be beaten by them.

Street children as young as 8 being lured into prostitution by tourists

Tabelo Timse, The Herald Online News, 26 July 2006

www.oijj.org/news_ficha.php?home=SI&cod=34665&pags=0&idioma=es

[accessed 21 July 2011]

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2006/07/25/street-children-lured-into-prostitution/

[accessed 5 January 2017]

Street children, some as young as eight years, are increasingly being lured into prostitution by local and foreign tourists in the Knysna area.

Police say they are aware of the problem but poverty and a culture of silence are obstacles in their attempts to prevent child prostitution.

Knysna Child Welfare has conducted several workshops on child trafficking in the Garden Route and reports that a trend has emerged that street children are being used for prostitution, drug smuggling and other crimes.

Chairman Trix Marais said there was a “vicious cycle of silence. Their parents and the community know about it but they keep quiet.”

No short cuts for street actors

Theresa Smith, Cape Argus (South Africa), July 4, 2006

www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-147783274.html

[partially accessed 23 July 2011 - access restricted]

The children won't all necessarily end up being actors (though they all acquitted themselves rather well) but the Project isn't just about teaching the children to use the stage.  It's about learning to navigate life, a skill they haven't necessarily picked up on the street.  Four years ago Rhodes University lecturer Alex Sutherland decided to do something about the street children she saw using performance to get attention as victims.

Drive to help street kids beat winter blues

Jessica Roberts, Independent Online (IOL) News, June 29 2006

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/drive-to-help-street-kids-beat-winter-blues-1.283533

[accessed 24 July 2011]

Children from shelters in Khayelitsha and Woodstock were treated to a day of rides, performances, and the biggest cake in South Africa at the launch of the I CAN donation drive.

I CAN is a campaign to collect blankets and clothes for shelters for the homeless in Cape Town.

Durban cleans up its act ahead of 2010 showdown

South African Broadcasting Corporation SABC News, May 23, 2006

westvilleonline01.blogspot.com/2006/05/durban-cleans-up-its-act-ahead-of-2010.php

[accessed 15 October 2012]

Durban has begun to rid the city of street children and vagrants ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup games it is to host. Derelict buildings and ramshackle accommodations in the inner city are also coming down under its urban renewal programme.

Street kid burns to death in basement

South African Press Association SAPA, April 5 2006

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/street-kid-burns-to-death-in-basement-1.272167

[accessed 24 July 2011]

The child usually slept on the pavements and might have sought refuge in the basement, said Naidoo.  "The basement was very dark and a candle had to be used for light, and when it caught fire the child could not escape," said Naidoo.

Children not kept safe

Pretoria Rekord, March 30, 2006

www.rekord.co.za/story.aspx?lan=Afr&sid=9989

streetchildrennews.wordpress.com/2006/03/30/children-not-kept-safe/

[accessed 5 January 2017]

Not only is the social system failing Pretoria’s estimated three thousand street children, but the community is also keeping them on the streets. These are some of the comments that followed an article that appeared in Rekord last week, exposing how females, referred to as ‘stout madams’ by the boys, are paying street boys good money for special favours.

“The street children are the future of this country but as long as the community gives them money, food or clothes, they will stay on the streets and develop into habitual criminals when they grow up,”

Information About Street Children - South Africa [DOC]

This report is taken from “A Civil Society Forum for East and Southern Africa on Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Street Children”, 11- 13 February 2002, Nairobi, Kenya

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 24 July 2011]

The situation of street children needs to be seen in the context of the legacy of entrenched poverty, racial discrimination and high levels of societal tolerance for violence. There are an estimated 250,000 street children with a rapid increase in numbers due to increasing levels of adult unemployment, the drift from rural to urban areas, the rapid growth of cities and the mushrooming peri-urban informal settlements and the breakdown of African family support systems.

SA youths tell of street life

BBC News, 16 April, 2002  --  featuring Skhumboso Dlamini (15) and John Wilkenson (21)

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1910693.stm

[accessed 24 July 2011]

“I only did two years at school. After my grandmother died, my brothers and sister, who were unemployed, could no longer support me. I had to fend for myself in the city, and that's when the streets of Durban became my home.”

Durban's Street Children Are 'Out Of Sight'

Bhavna Sookha and Bongani Mthembu, Independent Online (IOL) News, May 9 2005

www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/durban-s-street-children-are-out-of-sight-1.240647

[accessed 24 July 2011]

Durban's street children have been rounded up and taken out of the city while Tourism Indaba 2005 is on.  Residents and business people on the beach-front and in the city center have been asking where the children have disappeared to after they vanished from their usual haunts late last week.

A Thin Hope of Escaping Poverty

Text and Photos by Weng Yu-ming, The Tzu Chi Quarterly, Fall 1999 -- Translated by Norman Yuan

enquarterly.tzuchiculture.org.tw/tzquart/99fall/qf99-11.htm

[accessed 11 Aug  2013]

STREET CHILDREN - Unable to endure his stepfather's beatings, twelve-year-old Roy fled from home a week ago and is wandering on the streets of Johannesburg. He doesn't want to stay in a shelter for the homeless because he feels too restricted there.

Thulani's parents both passed away when he was ten. He went to live with his aunt, but she already had four children of her own. Thulani left and wandered on the streets for four years. Street life was very hard. He was frequently attacked by passersby, but he never knew why.

Most street children in Durban come from all over South Africa and even from neighboring countries. They come for different reasons--their parents have no jobs or are divorced. With its mild weather and its many tourist spots where children can beg for money or food, Durban has become a base for street people

HOMELESS - Due to the sudden death of his mother, Roland began wandering on the streets after he finished elementary school. At fourteen, he was accepted by a shelter. He left it when he was twenty and came to Johannesburg. Now he has been on the streets for two years. "Why don't you get a job?" He always answers, "I like freedom."

Child Sex Industry Booms In South Africa

LaborNews, 23 July 1996

www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/37a/029.html

[accessed 21 July 2011]

South Africa is well on its way to developing a child-sex tourism trade which could rival Thailand or the Philippines.  For as little as food for their family's pots, children as young as eight can be bought in the Cape -- and very little is being done to stop the burgeoning trade in children.  "Rent Boys" have been operating for years in downtown Cape Town and street children -- boys and girls -- have often turned to prostitution as a way of earning money.

Film:  Hillbrow Kids

A co-production by Quinte Film und ZDF / ARTE, 1999

www.hillbrowkids.de/e_film.htm

[accessed 24 July 2011]

Unlike their parents, these children are not prepared to be part of the meek majority of have-nots, are not prepared to be the born losers anymore.  Poverty, alcoholism, broken families and brutality drive them to the streets of cities like Johannesburg to try and improve their lot. And, indeed, sometimes they are lucky. Then they feel strong, courageous and independent- after a strong dose of glue-sniffing.

Organisations that help children

Official website of the City of Johannesburg

www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1022&Itemid=75

[accessed 15 October 2012]

There are many organisations that look after the needs of a range of children: street children, abandoned babies, Aids orphans, HIV positive children, and others. Some operate overnight shelters while others offer residential care from birth to the age of 18. Some operate drop-in centres. Most engage in outreach programmes. Some are Christian-based organisations, while others are non-sectarian. Some, like Cotlands, Streetwise and the Orlando Children's Home, are well-known; others are less so.   Described here are several such organisations. All employ some permanent staff but also make use of volunteers.

Othandweni - Hope For Street Children

Anna Yeadell, Radio Nederland Wereldomroep RNW News, Apr 2, 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 24 July 2011]

In the notorious district of Hillbrow in Johannesburg, an organization called Othandweni is trying to provide care, support and a second chance for some of the growing numbers of South Africa's street children.

New Hearts For Africa

African Angel Tours

www.africanangeltours.com/index.htm

[accessed 24 July 2011]

[select: UPLIFTMENT in the menu at the left]

NEW HEARTS FOR AFRICA - Following her retirement several years ago, Beverley Peterson decided to devote her life and her small $5,000 pension to help the children living on the streets of Cape Town. She spends her days counseling these children one-to-one and feeding a group of them three times a day.

Christopher Gumbi And His Wife Provide Home And Center To Street Children Of Soweto

www.diplomacy.8m.com/Children.html

[accessed 5 January 2017]

Christopher Gumbi and his wife provide home of sorts to 12 "street" children and provide a center for up to 250 other children from around Diepkloof who visit the house daily for a meal or for extra-mural activities.

Helping The Street Children Of South Africa: Profile Of Ashoka Fellow David Fortune

From the July/August 1998 issue of Share International

www.shareintl.org/archives/social-justice/sj_helping.htm

[accessed 24 July 2011]

David Fortune, a priest, child-care worker, and part-time actor, is reintegrating children and youth living on the streets of South Africa into their families and communities. Moving beyond reform schools and traditional relief efforts that provide only immediate food and shelter, Fortune has designed social work techniques that bring street children, families and communities together in understanding and action.

Umthombo Street Children

Amos Trust

www.amostrust.org/projects/index.php?pageNo=335&parent=49

[accessed 24 July 2011]

www.amostrust.org/amos-street-child/partners/umthombo-south-africa/

[accessed 5 January 2017]

A street-based outreach team that develops relationships with street children, specifically targeting those new to the streets. This work grew out of an earlier initiative, the Durban Street Team.

Rokpa Projects in South Africa

ROKPA UK Overseas Projects

www.rokpauk.org/projectssouthafrica.html

[accessed 24 July 2011]

OVERVIEW - Every year thousands of migrants arrive in Johannesburg, not just from rural areas but also as refugees from other African countries. They join the high number of homeless and destitute people already struggling to survive on the streets. Many have HIV/AIDS.

Findings from interviews on the background of street children in Pretoria, South Africa

Johann Le Roux, Street Children in South Africa, Adolescence, Summer 1996

pangaea.org/street_children/africa/safrica2.htm

[accessed 24 July 2011]

The majority leave as a result of socioeconomic and other factors within the family or immediate environment. These family factors may include: abuse of alcohol and drugs; financial problems and poverty; family violence and family breakup; poor family relationships; parental unemployment and resulting stress; physical and/or sexual abuse of children; parents absent from home as a result of personal or financial reasons (e.g., a migrant labor system); collapse of family structure; collapse of extended family; and emergence of vulnerable nuclear families in urban areas (Le Roux, 1993).

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children – South Africa", http://gvnet.com/streetchildren/SouthAfrica.htm, [accessed <date>]

 

 

Torture in  [South Africa]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [South Africa]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [South Africa]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [South Africa]  [other countries]