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ECD employees hand over list of grievances - VIDEO

───   14:10 Fri, 05 Aug 2022

ECD employees hand over list of grievances - VIDEO | News Article

The grievances of employees belonging to the South African Congress for Early Childhood Development (SACECD) in the Free State have been received by the Free State Department of Education following a peaceful march.

The provincial chairperson of SACECD, Sibongile Radebe-Phori, told OFM News that their peaceful protest follows after they have tried, with no success, to reach the department for assistance. She stated that the department must look into the R1751 stipend they have been paying them. Radebe-Phori said it is a bit unfair that some of the preschools are not funded by the department, however, they are expected to be on the same standards as those that are funded by the department. The SACECD is a national democratic body for early childhood development in South Africa. It mobilises and recruits Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners and organisations to lobby government and advocate communities to increase access to ECD for children.

The director in the office of the MEC, Jonas Ramokgwase, who accepted the memorandum of the protesters, explained he is confident that they will reply soonest, as some grievances raised were already on the agenda of the department.


Radebe-Phori further stated that the ECD employees were promised that things will get better after they have been placed under the Department of Education. They do acknowledge the assistance they have received with the academic curriculum but most of their problems still remain unsolved. “The stipend that the employees receive is not enough to care for a family in this economy, and most of the employees are their families’ breadwinners,” she added. It has come to SACECD’s attention that the funding that they have received from the department in the last two quarters (payments made in May and July) have been reduced significantly. One of the reasons that the department would give, is that the budget that was used, was one of 2019. They have given the department fourteen days to reply to the memorandum and stated how their grievances will be given attention. “If in fourteen days we have not heard of a reply, we will come back here with a bigger crowd,” she concluded.

Ramokgwase, who is responsible for stakeholder engagements, said there is not much he can say at the moment but that they are committed to attend to the needs of the ECD employees. “Also on the list for us to discuss, is a peaceful and productive transition of the ECDs to the Department of Education from the Department of Social Development,” he concluded.

It is at the moment unclear why ECD has been moved from Social Development to Education.

OFM News/Heidre Malgas & Tshehla Koteli

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