PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE
Modern spaces should be developed in all communities, using existing physical infrastructure like libraries and human resource centres, that provide opportunities for learning, research and community interaction.
Policies must be designed to strengthen the social fabric of the country and provide safety nets for the vulnerable members of our society.
Our social safety net system should be improved to allow for more specific and effective targeting of those in need of assistance. While there will always be errors of exclusion and inclusion in these programs, every effort should be made to minimize these errors so that the largest possible share of the financial and technical resources reach our vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.
Labour Market Programs
Every effort must be made to provide greater opportunities for work to people who are capable of gaining employment. Therefore, Government should embark on active labour market interventions that are directed at increasing the participation of poor people in the labour market. This should include skills training programs, work internships, and assistance with job seeking.
Support should also be provided to local business, especially the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector to allow this sector to grow and to be able to absorb larger numbers of locally-trained workers.
The focus of government should be on creating medium to long-term employment for the poor. However, there are occasions where government will also need to facilitate the creation of shorter-term employment opportunities to help provide short-term relief.
Health and Wellness Support
Another priority must be the creation of a system that allows all residents, regardless of economic means, to have access to quality and affordable health care.
Government policies should promote the adoption of healthy lifestyles to minimize the risks posed by chronic non-communicable diseases. This should include programs that discourage the consumption of foods, particularly processed foods, that are high in salt and sugar.
Issues of depression and mental illness continue to be treated with varying levels of stigma, suspicion and superstition in our society. Government should embark on a major campaign to de-stigmatize mental illness and to provide the necessary structures at the community and national levels to provide the requisite support to people dealing with depression and mental illness.
Housing policies must be geared toward creating safe, interactive, resilient and healthy communities. Wherever possible, the State should develop programs that promote home ownership. This should include the rationalization of squatted settlements and the creation of more orderly communities that are provided with the basic amenities (roads, water, sanitation and electricity).
In particular, programs should provide targeted support to single mothers, youth-at-risk, the elderly and citizens with disabilities.
Appropriate Safeguarding Provisions
Legislation should be enacted to protect the victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse and to protect and safeguard children from neglect, abuse and all forms of exploitation.
All levels of our society must commit to putting in place policies and taking all the necessary actions to safeguard children and vulnerable groups from harm.
With respect to children, we must:
Protect them from abuse, maltreatment and exploitation.
Prevent anything from harming their health or development.
Ensure they can grow up under safe and effective care.
Take action to ensure they have the best outcomes in life.
With respect to vulnerable adults, we must:
Ensure they can live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
Empower them by encouraging them to make their own decisions and provide informed consent.
Prevent the risk of abuse or neglect, and stop it from occurring.
Promote their well-being and take their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs into account.