ATC111026: Report Oversight visit to Rosendaal High School, Delft Police Station & Delft Community Health Care Centre, Western Cape Province
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and People with Disabilities on the oversight visit to the Rosendaal High School, Delft Police Station and Delft Community Health Care Centre, Western Cape Province, dated 26 October 2011
The Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and People with Disabilities took a decision to visit Rosendaal High School, Delft Police Station and Delft Community Health Care Centre on the 11 August 2011. The oversight theme of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and People with Disabilities for 2011 is education and skills development. Issues relating to teenage pregnancy fall within the committee’s mandate. Sexual harassment and violence in schools, as well as substance abuse are issues that require attention. The visit to the Rosendaal High School was also extended to the Delft Community Health Care Centre and the Delft Police Station to determine how health care professionals were rendering support to the teenage learners at the Rosendaal High School and ascertain what the relationship between the school, the health facility and the police station was in that regard.
Members of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education formed part of the delegation.
The objectives of the visit were:
- To look at the implementation of programmes to deal with teenage pregnancy and substance abuse; and
- To look at the implementation of the sexual harassment and teenage pregnancy policies of the Department of Basic education.
The delegation comprised the following:
Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and People with Disabilities
Ms DM Ramodibe (chairperson, leader of the delegation)
Ms MF Tlake (ANC)
Ms M Nxumalo (ANC)
Ms P Petersen – Maduna (ANC)
Ms PC Duncan (DA)
Portfolio Committee on Basic Education
Ms H Malgas (ANC)
Ms FF Mushwana (ANC)
Ms N Gina (ANC)
Mr D Smiles (DA)
Apologies were received from Ms B Blaai (COPE) and Ms D Robinson (DA) who could not attend the visit.
The delegation was accompanied by the following Parliamentary officials:
Ms N Nobatana, Committee Secretary, Ms K Abrahams (Researcher), Ms C Levendale (Researcher), Mr L Brown (Committee Secretary) and Ms X Mnyute (Committee Assistant).
The delegation met with the following persons:
Rosendaal High School
Ms M Buis, Safe School Consultant, Provincial Department of Education, Western Cape
Ms O Rustine, School Social Worker, Metro Northern Education
Ms N Gitwa, School Psychology, Metro North Education District
Mr R Larney, Provincial Department of Basic Education, Western Cape Province
Mr H Brandt, District Director: Northern Suburbs, Department of Basic Education
Mr Laubscher, Metro North Education District, Provincial Department of Basic Education
Mr D Kluka, School Principal, Rosendaal High School
Delft Community Health Centre
Mr D Fourie, Metro District Health Service: Tygerberg/Northern Sub-structure
Mr P Jaftha, Tygerberg/Northern Sub-structure, Programmes Manager
Mr A Pajientina, Deputy Director, Department of Primary Health
Mr M Horne, Acting Facility Manager, Delft Community Health Centre
South African Police Service (SAPS) – Delft Police Station
Mr B Daniels, Warrant Officer, SAPS
Brigadier Jansen, Station Commander, SAPS
Brigadier Adonis, Cluster Commander, SAPS
4. Meeting with the Rosendaal High School, Delft Community Health Care Centre and Delft Police Station
4.1 Meeting at the Rosendaal High School
The District Director, Mr Brandt informed the committee that the district was committed to guiding and supporting the school and learners insofar as life skills were concerned and had supportive and preventative programmes for learners. The department was clear on policies that should be implemented and had included other stakeholders such as the community to support learners in schools. In the financial year 2010/11, teenage pregnancy had been a problem in schools in the area. The district had held a conference on teenage pregnancies which covered topics such as choices to be made by learners and policies on teenage pregnancy. The district also had posters which were distributed to schools and were also linked to substance abuse.
From June 2010 – June 2011, the school had a high rate of teenage pregnancies. In October 2010, the school held a seminar on teenage pregnancy where parents and learners were invited to discuss the issue. The school also implemented policies as stipulated by the Provincial Department of Education until the learners returned to school. It also provided learner support in terms of academic requirements as per the policies of the department.
The learners who fell pregnant ranged from 12 – 15 years. In the financial year 2010-11, the school recorded 7 pregnancies and 15 were recorded for financial 2011-12. That indicated a 100% increase in teenage pregnancies in the school. There was a high rate of learners who were opting for termination of pregnancy (TOP), which in itself was a traumatic experience for many of them.
There was only one social worker and one psychologist for the 30 schools within the Metro-North District.
The school had a working relationship with Lovelife and the Delft Police Station with regard to programmes aimed at combating substance abuse, violence in schools and preventing teenage pregnancy. Lovelife had programmes aimed at decreasing domestic violence, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. They held workshops with learners on reproductive programmes, life skills and communication skills.
The school faced huge problems with regards to substance abuse at the school. Within the community drugs were sold to learners as young as 8 years old. That was as a result of the socio economic conditions of the Delft area i.e. high unemployment rate and poverty. Learners had easy access to drugs and other illicit substances. In dealing with the situation, the school worked with non-governmental organizations and the Department of Police who assisted with searching for illegal substances within the premises of the school. The educators would also report the issue of substance abuse to police officials and community police forums. The school was in the process of establishing a sports club as a means of diverting learners from engaging in drug abuse.
4.2 Meeting at the Delft Community Health Care Centre
The delegation was informed that the clinic was built in 1997 and operated on a 24 hour basis. It was focused on providing primary health care services. The services offered included Adult Curative Care, Paediatric, and Child Health Care, Women’s Health, ARV and Rehabilitation Services, Disability Grant Assessment, Nutrition Services, Trauma and Emergency Care, Chronic Care Services and Community Based Services. The Adult Curative and Paediatric Child Health Preventative and curative services included services such as immunisation, IMCI and school health. The Women’s Health services offered services such as antenatal care, reproductive health care and cervical cancer screenings. The ARV and Rehabilitative Services offered services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and orthopaedic nursing services. The chronic care services included services such as diseases of lifestyle i.e. high blood pressure, diabetes, etc, and mental health services. The community based care services offered services such as the integrated home based care, a day care centre for intellectual disability and HCT Lay Counsellors. The centre had one doctor who was responsible for doing assessments for the disability grant. The doctor assisted almost 30 clients per week and assessed 480 clients per month. The centre had 123 staff and almost 98% of posts had been filled.
In terms of teenage pregnancy, the clinic did not have statistics on the number of women under the age of 18 who were pregnant, but there was an 8% teenage pregnancy rate at the district level. In addition, approximately 6% of pregnant women were HIV-positive within the sub –district. With regards to termination of pregnancy, the clinic did not offer the procedure but referred women to Karl Bremmer Hospital as it was the only termination of pregnancy site within the sub-district. However, the number of referrals from the Delft Community Health Care Centre for termination of pregnancy procedures was increasing.
There was an infant mortality rate of approximately 4%. That was caused by different reasons such as drug abuse, malnutrition due to the poor socio-economic conditions of the area, diarrhea, pneumonia, pregnant women who did not attend antenatal clinics and booking late at hospital for delivery.
In terms of outreach programmes, the centre had programmes on a quarterly basis. The first quarter focused on child services to ensure that children were immunised, while the second quarter focused on HIV/AIDS programmes. The third quarter focused on addressing chronic diseases and the last quarter focused on sexually transmitted diseases.
With regards to the domestic violence cases, the Thuthuzela Care Centre was located at Karl Bremmer Hospital where support for victims of domestic abuse was provided. The centre is available 24 hours on a daily basis.
4.3 Meeting at the Delft Police Station
The presentation was made by the station commander, Brigadier Jansen. The presentation covered the purpose of the presentation, station demographics, schools within the station’s area, learner pregnancies, domestic violence cases reported, substance abuse cases and sexual offences cases reported, interventions made by the police officials, partnerships, and challenges faced by the police station. The purpose of the presentation was to give an overview of crimes against women and children, to highlight the problem of teenage pregnancy, highlight incidents of sexual abuse and rape and highlight the problem of domestic violence. The committee was informed that the station serviced a population of approximately 600 000 people and that the area had a high rate of unemployment. The area had 3 informal areas and 5 new developments and had poor infrastructure. It also serviced 6 high schools and 13 primary schools. In terms of teenage pregnancies, there were 6894 learners in the area, 3696 of them were female learners and 78 learners were reported pregnant since January 2011. Other statistics offered by the police station included:
· 245 cases pertaining to domestic violence were reported from April to August 2011.
· From 1 April to August 2011, 50 cases of rape were reported, and in 42 of these cases, victims were female. Six of the victims were females under the age of 16; six were males under the age of 16 while the remaining victims were adults. In 5 of the reported cases, offenders were under the age of 16.
· 14 of the reported cases related to sexual offences. 13 victims were females under the age of 16, 1 victim was under the age of 16 and 7 victims were adults.
· 884 cases related to substance abuse were reported. In 73 of these cases, the offenders were females and 17 of them were under the age of 16.
In terms of interventions, the SAPS had formed partnerships with the Community Police Forums, schools, non-governmental organizations and other government departments in dealing with teenage pregnancies. The police officials complied with the Domestic Violence Act and other National Instructions when dealing with cases of domestic violence. The Family, Violence and Child Protection Units had been established to deal with cases related to rape and sexual offences especially where victims were children. A victim empowerment facility had been established and was managed by the Community Police Forum and the police officials designated to deal with rape and sexual offences cases.
Awareness campaigns on substance abuse had been held in collaboration with the Community Police Forum, neighborhood watch and community partners and social crime prevention projects were held at all schools in the area. The police station also had an anti-gangsterism strategy in collaboration with the Department of Correctional Services at affected schools and offered drug and substance abuse counseling at the premises of the police station.
5. Challenges faced by Rosendaal High School, Delft Police Station and Delft Community Health Care Centre
5.1 Rosendaal High School
The school faced the following challenges:
· Shortage of professional personnel such as social workers, psychologists and school nurses.
· Lack of research on the role of the boy child towards teenage pregnancy.
· A high rate of termination of pregnancy which was often performed without sufficient counseling and left learners traumatised.
· Lack of parental involvement in the activities of the school.
· Struggling to keep learners within school premises until the end of school hours.
· Some educators within the districts did not implement the policies of the provincial department such as reporting learners who were pregnant.
5.2 Delft Police Station
The police station highlighted the following challenges:
· No rehabilitation facilities in the area.
· Limited recreational facilities.
· Lack of youth development organizations.
· Poor socio-economic conditions that prevail in the area such as poverty and a high rate of unemployment.
· Lack of role models in the area.
· Lack of safety at schools.
· The prevalence of gangsterism in the area.
5.3 Delft Community Health Care Centre
The Community Health Care Centre had the following challenges:
· Shortage of school nurses to educate learners on teenage pregnancy.
· Some School Governing Bodies who did not allow programmes on teenage pregnancy making it difficult for the health care centre to educate learners.
· Poor socio-economic conditions such as poverty and unemployment which contributed to infant mortality in the area.
· High rate of termination of pregnancy and the lack of family planning programmes which would assist to reduce the termination of pregnancies.
The delegation made the following observations:
- There was a shortage of professional staff such as social workers, school nurses and psychologists in the area to support learners.
- The poor socio-economic conditions in the area such as poverty and unemployment contributed to the incidence of teenage pregnancy and substance abuse by learners.
- There was a high rate of termination of pregnancy which traumatized learners and no counseling offered to learners.
- Despite challenges faced by the institutions, there was a working relationship between the school, police officials, the non – governmental organizations and the community health care centre to support learners.
Having undertaken the oversight visit and made observations, the delegation concluded that:
- There was a need for professional staff in all institutions which would support the learners in ensuring that they had access to quality education.
- Due to the socio-economic conditions such as poverty and unemployment, there was a need for Departments such as Social Development, Health, Labour and Police to work together to uplift the community.
The Committee recommends as follows:
- The Departments of Basic Education, Health and Social Development should work together to address challenges faced by the schools and the community.
- The Department of Basic Education should ensure that Sexual Harassment and Teenage Pregnancy Policies are implemented.
- The Department of Basic Education should ensure that parents/communities are involved in the activities of the school.
- Awareness campaigns on teenage pregnancies and substance abuse should be regularly held by the Department of Basic Education.
Report to be considered.
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