The City of Ekurhuleni has partnered with the Rings and Bearings, an ex-offender-run organization, and Gauteng Community Safety department to develop young boys into responsible adults who do not do crime.
The programme intends to support the boy child from an early age so that they do not adopt wayward habits such as substance abuse. It involves school talks and group discussions so that boys get the message of responsible behaviour from their peers. The model of intervention is also aimed at filling in the gap for role models and lack of father figures that assist young boys through development stages, which is believed to be the leading reason for young teenagers and youth engaging in crime at young age.
"Most young boys lack support and parental love and support from the community. That is why through this partnership, we will go to schools around the City, to talk and help the children, especially boys. This project is about transforming the lives of the boy child, not forgetting the girl child. It is aimed at rehabilitating them even before they commit bigger crimes," Lindiwe Khonjelwayo, the Divisional Head responsible for Women, Children and People with Disability in the Office of the Executive Mayor said.
Ms Khonjelwayo said the City is striving to address youth delinquency, while it is still manageable as youth misbehaviour that is left unattended may be institutionalized and ultimately become a career of criminality.
The Rings and Bearings is managed by Mandla Ngwenya who is an ex-offender who served more than 10 years for crimes that included house breakings and car hijackings at Baviaanspoort Maximum Prison and Boksburg Correctional Centre.
The City, together with the partners, will take the programme to all the schools and community formations in Ekurhuleni.