The Democratic Alliance on Sunday called on the government to properly maintain and fund the National Child Protection Register to fight the escalating child abuse crisis in South Africa. With this week being Child Protection Week, the party said there had been a 45 percent increase in the number of child abuse cases being reported. In 2002/03 the overall number of crimes committed against children stood at 59526 cases. By 2004/05 the number had increased to 85 808. That was an increase of 45 percent or 26000 new cases in just a year and represented a staggering 235 crimes against children per day, DA spokesman on child protection Mike Waters said. Despite this increase, instead of strengthening the specialised child protection units, the ANC government had decided to abolish them, "effectively destroying abused children's last line of defence", he added.