Outlawing corporal punishment in the home might be the biggest family destroyer our government can do! I am not only concerned with interfering in the family but there are many other avenues that can be explored rather than writing into law such communal factors. No loving parent spanks to kill their children. There are other ways of dealing with violence in our communities. In the well meaning children's bill there is section 139 which bans any form of corporal punishment including by those who have 'parental responsibility' over children.
Activists are urging parliamentarians to sign the bill so it can become law. Then a great teaching campaign will begin country-wide; educating parents of alternative forms of punishment. Now if you are into government Tender-chasing; here is a tip: In your multi-purpose CC (holding) open a training section where you can go into our rural areas to spend a day with people who will tell you 'to go tell your government to kiss their behinds but they will not be dictated to on how to raise children.' We, the middle class, have made lots of money from government this way. I know! Laws that are passed but impractical for OUR society. Look at corporal punishment at schools; a practise which still continues today.
This enlightenment project and the 'reasoning' was excusable when it was driven by academics sitting in 'ivory towers,' now with scanty Internet research and loud mouth placard wielding attitudes, we write laws that misshape our societies. What is wrong with us? When we hit a real quandary like the effect of the Bill on child headed households we don't seek a corrective but work around it as this bill has done. There is no addressing the lack of ubuntu and how this problem can be resolved. Those who wrote the bill know the reality is we are going to see a lot more child-headed households so then just build it into the bill. You can almost see the argument as you read it. Section 136 (5) "The child heading a child-headed household may take all day-to-day decisions relating to the household and the children in the household as if that child is the adult care-giver." Wow! These kids are already doing this so what has the bill offered? Nothing except that now a government agent or some other person can be designated to run their budget! In a system riddled with corruption? How do we allow children to continue carrying such responsibilities without the budget control. I know of a lot of people who leave their jobs because they can't control their own budgets.
The bill in section 139 (2), repeals all common and cultural laws regarding corporal punishment but in my scanning it said nothing about the religious beliefs (which are arguably, neither common nor cultural laws) of families, which are protected by the constitution as well. I can hear "spare the rod...!"
Yes we have big issues in our society regarding violence but my plea is that we would not be so reactionary and be influenced by numbers of countries and states that have implemented this law or that law; we are different. Why aren't we searching for home brewed solutions rather than wanting to be like other people.
It takes a community to raise a child! Speak about that in your church, school governing boards, shebeens or braais; wherever you gather with other grown ups. Challenge in your community those who do wrong to children; such as those supporting this bill. Let us spend the money we can spend on teaching parents how not to spank their children; on setting up new policing forums to deal with offenders of this law and whatever other repercussions this bill might have on positive things. Building facilities for children whose parents wake up before dawn and leave them to return after dusk trying to earn a living. What ever happened to companies that had family days/ Christmas parties? Ah, those were the days; even though it was deductibles from the very parents' pay, those tractor drawn trains filled with black and white kids who spoke 'child' to each other helped towards building our nation. The funny plastic toy, sweets and...eh, the helium filled balloons; they said 'we sorry that we do you parents all year round but here is a little something, grow up so we can do you too!'
Seriously though, the bill has been long in coming but as usual; normal community avenues have not been 'sufficiently' sought to discuss it and WE, as community have been complacent about it. We ca not think that by creating laws for everything we will build a community; there are better ways and those are found in being community!