KOMANI author Mzukisi Silandela says the Child Maintenance Act alone is not enough to aid the problem of fathers who refuse to take care of their children.
“We do not have civil society, political, women organisations and student movements that are fighting this societal issue.”
Silandela recently launched his new book, ‘Rich fathers, poor children’ and was joined by a panel of speakers to discuss the topic at Cafe Beulah in Komani recently.
The speakers were Zolile Menzelwa, who edited the book, Tshiamo Modisapudi who spoke on her journey as a single mother and Vuyisani Hans who contributed to the topic as the MC.
“All government does is offer single mothers child grants and Child Welfare will only intervene if there is a certain problem experienced by a child. Nothing is done to prevent this culture among men (of not staying to raise their children) in communities and schools.”
He said other countries had laws in place because the state did not want to be responsible for citizens who were irresponsible.
“ They encourage people to have children in marriage. In South Africa a person can have 20 children if they wanted to, there is no law that will hold them.”
He planned to address the issue at ground level with young men at the upcoming schools drive where Hans would be motivating pupils in preparation of their exams.
“I want to have interaction for these young men to be able to share their opinions while shedding some light on this topic to give them a way forward.”
Silandela said today’s parents did not hold their sons accountable for their actions including having children.
“In the olden days parents would send off their male child to work, teaching him the responsibility of taking care of a child.”
As the mother to a four-year-old boy Modisapudi said as a single mother she had a duty to be both the mother and father to her child.
“I have to fill up the gaps as much as I can. I do not want my child to grow up feeling unloved, blaming himself for what happened between his father and I.”
She encouraged women to not speak ill about fathers to their children nor to prevent them from knowing their fathers if they wanted to do so.