DA pushes for motion that assists crèches

Tania Campbell and Bradley Doublemann with children at an ECD centre in Ekurhuleni.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has issued a media statement on their fight to improve the lives of children in Ekurhuleni’s crèches.

The DA spokesperson for health and social development in Ekurhuleni, Alderman Tania Campbell, said the DA’s fight became a greater reality with the passing of a motion at Council that seeks to secure funding for Early Child Development (ECD) centres in informal settlements within the metro.

“Currently, most crèches in informal settlements lack access to infrastructure that allows them to comply with existing health regulations, thereby disqualifying them from attaining the health certificate required to run a crèche.

“Furthermore, due to inherited apartheid spatial planning, many crèches in informal settlements do not fall within the required commercial zoning classification required to allow them to receive grants from the Department of Health and Social Development,” said Campbell.

She said the DA’s motion seeks a concurrent policy to be formulated to accommodate crèches in informal settlements with regards to the review of norms and standards within the Municipal Public Health by-laws to address the structural challenges faced by these crèches.

As well as a review of existing zoning regulations to ensure that these crèches qualify for social grant funding.

“The motion follows a previously urgent motion passed in November last year that saw Council resolve to conduct a comprehensive audit at crèches within Ekurhuleni following a case of child abuse.

“The DA considers the health and safety of our children as one of the key priorities in the metro.

“The passing of the motion is testament to our commitment and resolve to ensure that crèches within Ekurhuleni are safe environments and conducive to quality early child development,” Campbell explained.

She added that the Council resolved to investigate the matter with all the relevant departments involved and committed to reporting back on their progress in March.

The motion reads as follows:

Funding for crèches in informal settlements.

Noting that:

1. Crèches are critical to the early cognitive development of children in South Africa.

2. They are considered safe places by parents who place their trust in them to keep their children safe and free of any kind of harm.

3. Crèches in informal settlements in Ekurhuleni rely solely on money received from parents and private donations.

4. They receive no funding from any governing institutions due to non-compliance with existing policies regulating Early Childcare Development centre funding.

5. In order to qualify for funding from the Department of Health and Social Development, the crèche needs to comply with health standards (as specified in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Public Health By-Laws), as well as zoning regulations (as specified in the existing Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013).

Believing that:

1. Most crèches situated in informal settlements lack access to infrastructure that allows them to comply with existing health regulations, disqualifying them from attaining the health certificate required to run a crèche.

2. Due to inherited apartheid spatial planning, many crèches within informal settlements do not fall within the required commercial zoning classification required to allow them to receive grants from the Department of Health and Social Development.

Resolving that:

1. A concurrent policy (running parallel to the existing policies) be formulated to accommodate crèches in informal settlements relating to;

• The review of the norms and standards within the Municipal Public Health By-Laws in order to accommodate the structural challenges faced by crèches in informal settlements, without compromising the health and safety of the children.

• The review of existing zoning regulations, within the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013, to accommodate crèches in informal settlements so as to allow them to qualify for grant funding from the Department of Health and Social Development.

Proposed by Alderman T Campbell.

Seconded by Clr Stephen Makopo.

  AUTHOR
Jantji Ngwenyama
Journalist

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