It was an unforgettable day for special needs and abandoned children at Plettenberg Bay in the Southern Cape.

They were treated to an early Christmas party in Bitou.

The season’s message of joy was evident on the faces of the children with traditional gifts.

The children are often overlooked during the festive season.

Minister of Public Service and Administration Ayanda Dlodlo says:”Yes it is that time of the year again. For the past four years I’ve been having parties for the elderly. But this year I decided to have a party for children with special needs and children who live in orphanages.”

Care-givers also felt the spirit of Christmas.

New Beginnings Place of Safety leader Babalwa Buso says:”The minister came here and made these kids happy because it’s the first time they going out and having a nice party with the minister. I really appreciate that. I feel very good.”

Earlier in the day, Dlodlo handed over certificates of completion to 100 unemployed local youth who took part in a government programme aimed at improving their chances of finding employment.