Thousands of Eastern Cape children who are in desperate need of support, are being denied critical services, even though funding is available for them.
So far this year the Department of Social Development has only assisted 900 of a targeted 20 429 children, while last year Department failed to reach its target, only assisting 8 500 of the 11 047 children they had identified, grossly under-spending in the process.
This highlights the extent to which the children of this province are being betrayed and set up for educational genocide, and how poverty is being institutionalised in the Eastern Cape.
In fact, during the 2017/18 financial year, the Department failed to spend R29 million of the R56 million grant allocated to it, and had to surrender R22 67 million back to National Treasury as a result. This makes us the worst preforming province in relation to ECD grants in the country.
Now it would appear that we are heading to lose even more funding, as a report by National Treasury reveals that during the first quarter of the new financial year, the Eastern Cape has spent just 1.2% of this year’s allocation, compared to the national average of 11.8%.
In a response to a written question I submitted to the MEC for Social Development, Dr Pumza Dyanti, she confirmed that a total of 978 ECD centres have not yet received their subsidy from the Department for the first quarter of 2018/2019.
How is this possible, when National Treasury has already transferred over R18.8 million to the Department, specifically earmarked for ECD centres?
The DA understands that the emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct impact on their overall development and on the adult they will become. ECD is also crucial in preparing children for school and the DA will prioritize ECD support
That is why I will be conducting oversight inspections to various ECD centres shortly to determine the effect of the department’s failure to spend budgeted funds allocated to these centres.
Note to Editors: To download a sound clip from Kobus Botha on this issue, please click below.