Parliament, Wednesday, 15 September – The Portfolio Committee on Social Development has welcomed a proposal by Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality community members in North West province, that the Children’s Amendment Bill must also address the problem of sugar daddies in society.
"Sugar daddy" is a term given to older men who have sexual relations with young girls in exchange for money or other material benefits.
During public hearings on the bill on Monday, community members welcomed the draft legislation’s intentions to tackle social ills such as child marriages, but added that it must also outlaw the practice of older men have relations with young girls. They told the committee that the bill must help save girl children from “sugar daddies”.
The committee heard that some parents see nothing wrong when their young daughters become involved with older men as, in most instances, the men buy groceries for the girls’ families.
Committee Chairperson Ms Nonkosi Mvana said the committee is concerned about reports of parents giving their daughters to older men in exchange of money. “In our times, we cannot allow a situation of bartering with kids. Let us not pimp our children to older men. It is a serious form of child abuse and also destroys the future of the young girls, as often they are forced to leave school,” she said.
The committee heard claims from community members that foreign shop owners in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District were the biggest perpetrators of the “sugar daddy” trend, using their resources to lure poor girl children, sleep with them, and buy them expensive gifts and sometimes groceries for the families.
The Children’s Amendment Bill seeks, among other things, resolve challenges related to foster-care grant payments, the parental responsibilities of unmarried parents, child marriages, and children born to foreign parents and unaccompanied migrant children.
Public hearings will continue in other provinces after the constituency period.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, MS NONKOSI MVANA.
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