Bushbuckridge Local Municipality hosted a children’s Dialogue session at Bushbuckridge Local Municipal Chamber on the 03rd of December 2013 07H00. The main objectives of the Dialogue was to find a clear strategy to deal with the impact of HIV/ AIDS on children at home; the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy, and the impact of substance abuse on the future of the children.

The Hon. Executive Mayor Cllr Renias Khumalo emphasized that the rights of the children should be well taken care of and be respected. He also stated that civil society organizations should intervene to help the children deal with the identified challenges. Various reports show that most children are exposed to rape, teenage pregnancy, and substance abuse. Teenagers practice unprotected sex at a very young age as statistics indicates that the teenage rate of girls who fall pregnant is high. This places a huge burden on the teenager to raise the child due to poverty and diseases. Apart from that girls end up dropping out of school to raise their kids.

Amongst those who attended were Hon. Executive Mayor Cllr Renias Khumalo, the MMC for Social Development Cllr Flominah Timba, the Stakeholders from Childline and from Radar Wits University, the Councilors and children from primary schools in Bushbuckridge.

The children delivered speeches and recited on how to deal with teenage pregnancy. The children pledged to avoid watching pornography, abstain from sexual activities, to listen and respect their parents, and to spend their time reading books and to form study groups. The programme directors were the learners themselves and they were Ms Mixo Khosa, Mahlatse Nzima, and Kgahliso Malele. The glittering event was blessed by the attendance of Mpumalanga children Ambassador Ms Tshegofatso Mabote who alluded that learners should stop dating sugar daddies. Summing up her message of support, she urged children organization to support school kids in all aspects of their lives.

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