Germany Study Tour Report; Childrens' Day programme

Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

9 May 2001

Chairperson: Ms H Bogopane

Documents handed out:
Draft Germany Study Tour Report

The Committee did not adopt the Germany Study Tour Report compiled as result of a fact-finding tour to Germany. Committee members raised concerns with the Report, specifically with its recommendations which were considered to be lacking in substance. The tour delegates agreed to meet and work on amending the recommendations.

Plans for the upcoming Children's Day celebration on 1 June were announced.

Germany Study Tour Report
The Deputy Chairperson, Mr B Willem, took the committee through the Report.

The delegation while on its study tour in Germany met with the parliamentary committee responsible for labour and social welfare issues as well as NGOs concerned with children, youth, and disabled persons.

The Report recommends that the Department of Social Development in drafting its new comprehensive children's code should consider studying the German child care policy and legislation. This is with specific reference to the possibility of establishing an institution, an ombuds-person, for children, and looking at placing greater emphasis on preventive strategies and having strong rehabilitative, restorative and where necessary punitive strategies.

In relation to the Youth Commission, the Report recommended that the Youth Commission look seriously at the German youth program with a view to implementing it in South Africa. The Report went on to say that these programs are effective in ensuring that youth are constructively occupied and that their needs are taken into account. The Report noted that the country has to look at what aspects of the program and policies are relevant for the youth in South Africa considering that there are smaller numbers of German youth compared to South African youth.

Germany's education and training system is geared towards efficiency and skills development and was seen as important. Their system of a longer educational period was seen as resulted in producing a labour force that is mature and skilled. The Report also saw great merit in their four-stage plan for education and training of disabled people.

Their employment and job creation strategy is interesting and unique and needs to be looked at with a view to incorporate it into the South Africa System. The Report also recommends that South Africa look into the levy system in Germany where employment for disabled people is created.

Its Department of Arts and Culture uses historical material for the purpose of education very effectively. The Germans also had to deal with issues of racism and deprivation in the past. The German museums and culture promote certain principles designed to deal with racism.

Ms D Mahlangu (ANC) wanted to know what were the programs to which the Report was referring. She said the Report was not clear on many of its recommendations, specifically as to why they should be adopted and how they would be adopted to the South African situation. She went on to say that the Report states that the museums depict a cultural view but it does not show how this relates to South Africa. As the Report was not clear on these matters, she moved that it not be adopted.

Ms P Jana (ANC) who was part of the tour delegation, responded that the concerns of Ms Mahlangu have been dealt with in the earlier parts of the Report, hence it does not deal with these again. She went to say that they have compiled the Report with the view that it would be adopted by the Committee and hence did not see the need to go into great detail into their recommendations. She told the committee that the delegation to Germany would have to meet and compile a report that dealt thoroughly with the recommendations. She said this would be done speedily so as to facilitate the long overdue adoption of this Report.

Mr T Setona suggested that if the delegates who went to Germany are present then they should perhaps explain the recommendations they had made.

Ms Bogopane (ANC) proposed that the Report be sent back for amendments and only after these amendments are made, should the Report be adopted.

Mr C Morkel (NNP) suggested that the Report be adopted without the amendments. He noted that the delegates said that the Report did deal with the concerns raised but in another part of the Report.

However the committee agreed that the Report should be sent back for amendments and it be tabled for adoption after these amendments were made.

Children's Day: 1 June
Ms Bogopane announced that the Committee would be hosting 100 children from all over the country, as part of the national celebration of Children's Day on 1 June. Telkom would sponsor this event.

The program would be as followed, from 09:00 till 11:00 the children would be engaged in looking at different aspects of their lives. From 11:00 to 30 the children with politicians will move to Parliament. The Office of the Status of the Child, which is a body formed in the Office of the President, would give a report on children in the country. The code of ethics for the media in relation to children would also be launched. At 12:30 a member of the Committee would speak in the Assembly on issues related to children. At 13:30 the Children's Song would be launched. The President would be present during the launch of the song. Telkom as sponsor would be given an opportunity to make a statement and one of the children would respond on the activities that have taken place on the day. The program is scheduled to end at 16:00.


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