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Youth Violence: Sources and Solutions in South Africa Launched at Lobby Books

Cathy Ward

“South Africa’s got talent! Make way…” said Sandy Shepherd to enthusiastic applause as the Lavender Hill Children’s Choir left the stage at Lobby Books. This talented group sang optimistically about the realities of their hardscrabble existence at the launch of Youth Violence: Sources and Solutions in South Africa edited by Cathy Ward, Andrew Dawes and Amelia van der Merwe, held earlier this week.

Christine Nomdo, Arina Smit, Cathy Ward and Gilbert LawrenceYouth ViolenceA group of erudite social commentators joined editor Cathy Ward in a panel discussion that offered new insights on the topic of youth violence in South Africa.

Referring to the high levels of violence that children are exposed to, Shepherd said the book was of great significance in its study of the causes of violence, and its recommendations. She thanked the many contributors who were present in the audience for their contributions.

Gilbert Lawrence, head of the Western Cape Department of Community Safety, introduced his co-panellists, Christina Nomdo, Executive Director at RAPCAN; Arina Smit, Programme Design & Development Manager at NICRO; and Cathy Ward, Professor of Psychology at UCT.

Nomdo began by speaking about the socialisation of children’s rights in South Africa. She focused on the challenges and opportunities of becoming an evidence-informed civil society organisation, also known as “practice based evidence”. She said the publication was a page turner – “like a novel I couldn’t put down.”

Lawrence followed with a reflection on provincial government’s stance on violence, noting two separate areas – “The first area is clearly political – the agenda defining the way government does what government does,” he said. “There’s an agenda around the administration and management in government.” Lawrence further reflected on how all political parties have the same priorities: “It’s jobs, unemployment, poverty and crime. There’s a consensus about what the top priorities in our country are, but not in terms of how it should be done.”

Smit concluded by sharing her own awareness and insights into the Child Justice Act, its implementation and issues of diversion when dealing with violent behaviour in children.

An insightful Q&A session followed the discussion and audience members were left with plenty to reflect on.

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Liesl Jobson tweeted from the event using #livebooks:

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Book details

  • Youth Violence: Sources and Solutions in South Africa edited by Cathy Ward, Andrew Dawes and Amelia van der Merwe
    EAN: 9781919895871
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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