| PORT ELIZABETH

Childcarers paid at last by Social Development

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Many early childhood development centres have been starved of funds since March

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Photo of a protest

Hundreds of childcare providers in Nelson Mandela Bay who protested for annual grants three weeks ago (pictured above) have now been paid by the Department of Social Development. Archive photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

Hundreds of Early Childhood Development (ECD) staff who had not been paid since grants were stopped at the start of the Covid lockdown in March, have at last been paid by the Department of Social Development (DSD).

“We are happy to announce that we have now received both subsidies from the DSD,” said beaming childcarer Pamela Nomnganga on Tuesday afternoon. She runs the Dorothy Tomlinson Pre-school Foundation in KwaZakhele, Port Elizabeth.

“We gave them [DSD] seven days to respond to our petition but within two to three weeks the grant payments went through … All the grants are now paid and we are happy,” she said.

Some confusion about regulations has arisen, alarming ECD operators, but municipal spokesperson Mamela Ndamase clarified: residents do not need to apply for rezoning as businesses if they wish to operate day care centres.

“They however need to apply to the City for a special consent at a cost of about R1,520. They need to write to their neighbours and advertise in the local newspapers for public participation purposes and calling for any objections. “

“Residents are encouraged to visit the town planning offices where a town planner will advise them on what documentation is needed to open a business in a residential area,” said Ndamase.

“The majority of creches are now cleaning and preparing to open, but DSD insists we submit videos of creches showing our readiness to operate during this level 1 lockdown,” said Nomnganga.

“Soon all of us will operate our centres as some are already back at work.”

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