Cape Town Child Welfare (CTCW) can now continue to provide desperately needed child protection services for the Hout Bay Community following its occupation of new offices provided free of charge by Oceana Brands, a division of Oceana Group Limited.

“It would be fair to say that the work of Child Welfare in Hout Bay would have ground to a halt if Oceana Brands had not come to the rescue in the manner that they did,” says Dr Eugene Burger, a member of the Hout Bay Advocacy Panel.

Child Welfare previously leased the Old Yacht Club from the City of Cape Town, but had to vacate it after the building was declared unfit for human occupation in April 2010. This meant that the Hout Bay team had to return to the Child Welfare head office in Athlone, which had a very detrimental effect on the services they could provide to the Hout Bay community.

“On behalf of Child Welfare I contacted Dan Jaftha at Oceana Brands, who in turn presented CTCW’s desperate need for suitable office premises within the community it serves to the company’s senior management,” Dr Burger said. “Within days he came back with the good news that the company would make available unused office space in their building in Harbour Road – totally free of charge, including water and electricity.”

According to Dr Burger the new premises in the Oceana Brands building in Harbour Road is vastly superior to anything Child Welfare had before. “It is a safe, spacious, clean and dignified working environment that will have a positive impact on the social workers and general staff at Child Welfare who work with extremely deprived children on a daily basis,” Dr Burger said. “They are usually required to provide their services in very difficult circumstances, often with access only to the most basic of services and infrastructure, and this wonderful facility will make it easier to perform their important tasks.”

Equipment still required include office equipment, such as chairs, desks, filing cabinets, etc., and computers or laptops for the staff. Anyone willing to assist can contact the Child Welfare offices.

Child abuse and neglect cases are attended to on a daily basis and the facility is available to any child in distress in the larger Hout Bay area, including the impoverished areas of Hangberg and Imizamo Yetho. The CTCW team will manage children’s rights issues with regard to social work, psychological support, educational support, legal issues and health care from the new offices.

For further information, please contact Oceana Group Ltd’s Communications Manager, Anthea Abraham, on (021) 410 1427, or by email at aabraham@oceana.co.za. Alternatively, contact CTCW’s Dr Eugene Burger on 021-790 9173/ 082 331 9400.

Caption: Photographed in the newly occupied Child Welfare Offices in the Oceana Brands Building in Harbor Road, are, from left to right, Niresh Ramklass, Head of Cape Town Child Welfare; Lucille Groenewald, Oceana Brands’ HR Officer in Hout Bay; Wilhelm van Zyl, Oceana Brands’ Operations Manager; Dr Eugene Burger from the Hout Bay Advocacy Panel; and Dan Jaftha, Oceana Brands’ Hout Bay Site Manager.