DSD invests R 345, 428 to ECD sector over 2019/2020
Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela's birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010. However, other groups began celebrating Mandela Day on 18 July 2009.
This year, the Western Cape Department of Social Development has highlighted the importance of child services in light of commemorating Tata Madiba. Nelson Mandela fought valiantly to improve the lives of children, not only in South Africa, but around the globe. In the worlds of our great former President of South Africa, “Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth who care for and protect our people (3 June 1995)”.
In memory of Madiba’s love for children, Minister Fernandez would like to use this day as an opportunity to remind the people of our Province, that we remain committed to providing quality Early childhood Development services to ensure that our children, are provided the necessary cognitive and emotional development to be proactive citizens one day, who are at the forefront of building a better South Africa.
In order to facilitate a nurturing, caring and safe environment for children to survive, be physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally secure, socially competent and be able to learn, R 345 428 000 million (transfer budget) has been budgeted for the 2019/20 financial year towards Early Childhood Development (ECD) and partial care.
In 2018, the number of children in our funded ECDs increased to nearly 76 000, compared to 50 000 in 2009.
“ECD centres help children interact better with other children and adults, teaching vital skills needed for the school years ahead,” says Fernandez
Moreover, it has become increasingly understood that early childhood development is an important aspect of human development as it serves as an important driver of economic welfare and poverty reduction in particular. In South Africa, “almost one fifth of children have lost at least one parent and only a third of 12.7 million households conform to the 'nuclear norm' of children and parents, with about one fifth having three generations or more present in one household.”
Early Childhood Development is regarded as a prevention and early intervention programme, and its intent is for child protection. Furthermore, The ECD space is covered by:
Chapter 7 of the Children’s Act which guides on child protection services, and
Chapters 5 and 6 and its regulations (4 and 5) that includes the minimum norms and standards that sets measures for health and safety aspects of children within ECD facilities.
Under the leadership of Minister Sharna Fernandez, the Western Cape Department of Social Development remains committed to creating a self-reliant society by ensuring the provision of a comprehensive network of social development services that enables and empowers our children, the vulnerable and those with special needs.