DA calls for full audit on KZN’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres

Issued by Mmabatho Tembe, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Social Development
23 May 2023 in Press Statements

The DA calls on KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Social Development MEC, Nonhlanhla Khoza, to urgently work with the province’s Department of Education to conduct a thorough audit of Early Child Development (ECD) facilities in the province.

This appeal comes as the number of illegal facilities within KZN continue to rise. The DA is concerned for the safety of young children in our province and the growing number of ECDs that are not compliant, placing them at high risk.

It has been a year since ECD centres were moved from the ambit of Social Development to Education. This begs the question: Was there ever an audit of these facilities and their compliance levels?

Government has a critical role to play in terms of ECD’s. Any facility that poses a risk to children must be shut down. Equally, government must act as a support and assist emerging facilities in being properly equipped and registered.

The recent closure of an illegal unregistered daycare centre in Pietermaritzburg – with 26 small children – shows that our children are easy targets for opportunists. While the DA commends the work done by social workers, health practitioners and SAPS in this instance, the reality is that it is still too easy to run an illegal operation in our province.

The DA calls on MEC Khoza to launch a comprehensive audit and to tighten up her department’s working relationship with other provincial government departments including KZN’s Education and Community Safety and Liaison departments.

The DA remains committed to ensuring accountability from this ANC-run government on behalf of our most vulnerable members of society.