29 March 2022, Allafrica, SAnews.gov.za

One of the panelists, Phakamile Khumalo from Media Monitoring Africa, said that it is really important to understand what children and young people are doing online.

She said despite the enormous challenges of access and digital literacy, children are online.

Referring to a South African study by UNICEF together with the Department of Social Development, Khumalo said that 70% of children surveyed have used the internet without parental consent and only 41% surveyed have some sort of information about online safety.

“The children are using internet be it at home, school or at a friend’s place and not a lot of them have the resources to be safe online. Children in South Africa are not in a position to fully take advantage of their digital rights or become active digital citizens.

“It is so important that our young people begin to become active digital citizens and this is now leading to the skills resources and platform to be able to participate in the digital world in a way that enhances our democracy as a country.”

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