Parliament, Friday, 9 September 2022 – The Select Committee on Appropriations was briefed by the Department of Social Development (DSD) and National Treasury on the expenditure performance of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Grant for the 4th Quarter 2021/22.
As of 1 April 2022, in line with the President’s announcement in the 2019 State of the Nation Address, the ECD function was shifted to the Department of Basic Education.
According to National Treasury, the ECD Grant aims to assist poor children to access subsidised early childhood services through centres and non-centre programmes. According to Treasury, the ECD grant also benefited in the past two financial years from the Presidential Employment Stimulus during the Covid-19 pandemic. Treasury said all provinces, with the exception of the Western Cape, underspent on their ECD grants for the 2020/21 financial year.
National Treasury also said some of the challenges it identified were the verification of beneficiaries for the Presidential Employment Initiative, as some were incomplete or not finalised due to outstanding information. The committee was also concerned about the delays in securing land for new ECD centres.
The committee expressed concerns that maintenance grants were also given to unregistered ECD centres. The Chairperson of the Select Committee on Appropriations, Ms Dikeledi Mahlangu, said: “The programme of ECD and the conditional grants must be utilised correctly and for the benefit of the poorest of the poor who are relying on the system.”
The committee called for a wider stakeholder engagement between role-players, such as departments of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation and municipalities, as they all have to consider ECD in their planning.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, MS DIKELEDI MAHLANGU.
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