Happy reunions for lost kids and families

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Police in Durban have confirmed that all 152 children who were separated from their relatives on New Year's Day have been reunited with their families.

The children went missing during last week's packed New Year's celebration festivities in which more than 100000 beach goers flocked to the city beaches.

They were subsequently housed at a children's shelter at the Addington Primary School near Durban's beachfront.

Police spokesman Thembeka Mbele said the last one of the missing children was reunited with their parents on Thursday last week.

She said that unlike previous years when children were left at the shelter for days, this year a well coordinated campaign between the SAPS, the eThekwini municipality and other local government institutions assisted in reducing the number of lost children during the January 1 beach festivities.

"This year we had wristbands with information details about the children's next of kin.

"This meant parents and relatives could be contacted immediately and the children were speedily reunited with their relatives."

She said lost children were first taken by law enforcement officers to temporary tents on the beach which were equipped with specially trained child minders.

"They were held there for a few hours and those who were still separated from their parents were subsequently sent to the Addington shelter."

Since children could not remain at the shelter indefinitely, concerted efforts were made by police to reunite them with their parents as soon as possible.