First lady, Tshepo Motsepe, says it is not easy to be a young person in the country with the current scourge of gender-based violence and other social ills. Dr Motsepe has been speaking at Kgatlamping Primary School in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg.
This as part of the Pink Room, Safe Space initiative that aims to create safe spaces for young people, while addressing socio-economic challenges in the Ekurhuleni township.
Dr Motsepe says young people face cyber bullying.
“We are aware that it is not easy to be a young person these nowadays. They have cyber bullying and they are also bullied by their own friends. We have this big problem of abuse of drugs and alcohol, gender based-violence where children and women are abused. But it’s good that we have people who are doing things that make it easy for us to overcome the challenges that we have.”
Motsepe, has called on parents to take responsibility for their children and not leave it to the teachers.
She says more safe rooms are needed in other communities across the country.
“Support the teachers, not just outsource our children to the schools. This place is called Tembisa and we hope that what you have done here, can be replicated elsewhere. You have created spaces that enable young people to wreak their silence, not only about their difficulties, but also about their hopes and their dreams.”
Education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said parents need to do more to educate children against such acts of violence.
“These are the five girls who bullied a grade 10 girl on February 11 at school. We don’t teach violence at all, if you see how violent these learners are, you will see that they are copying it from somewhere. We will start at home to say parents must assist us to educate their learners and they must also desist from doing anything violent in front of the learners.”