Department of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu outlines her department’s Covid-19 response plans during lockdown level 4. Photo: Siyabulela Duda
Department of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu outlines her department’s Covid-19 response plans during lockdown level 4. Photo: Siyabulela Duda

Social Development Department gives ECD stimulus relief fund applicants a second chance

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Jul 2, 2021

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EARLY Childhood Development Centres (ECD) that were not approved for the ECD stimulus relief fund, but have since received text messages from the department, have been given a second chance to correct their data information, so that they can be approved for the roll-over funding.

Department of Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu made the announcement at a media briefing where she was outlining her department’s Covid-19 response plan.

She said those who did not previously qualify for funding because they gave incorrect data information could reapply for the stimulus relief, subject to verification processes.

“We are aware that we did not make payment to all stimulus applicants. The money has not all been spent and we have applied to the National Treasury that the money rolls over, and those who have not been paid will be paid,” she said.

Zulu urged ECD applicants who have received text messages to go back to the application website and reapply. No new applicants would be approved, only those who received text messages from the department.

In addition to the subject of ECDs and the level four lockdown adjustment, Zulu said all ECD centres were in full operation, subject to them being compliant of Covid-19 health and safety measures.

She said her department had consulted with the Department of Health to ensure that ECD and DSD officials were listed in the second roll-out of the vaccinations.

“In the next couple of days an announcement will be made,” she said.

Zulu said the transfer of the ECDs to the Department of Basic Education was gazetted on Thursday. However, until all ECD issues were ironed out, the DSD would remain responsible for ECDs.

Social grants

Zulu said that due to the increase in Covid-19 infections, there had been some changes made to the social grant payout dates.

The elderly/pensioners would be paid out on July 6, followed by the disability grant payouts and then the child grant payouts. That was in order to avoid long queues at the South African Social Security Agency payout points.

“Please do not go in big numbers to collect grants, for your own safety. Officials at the offices are already few due to the Covid-19 restrictions and many of them being infected,” she said.

For grant applications, she said Sassa had divided the weekdays to deal with specific applications.

  • Mondays are for pensioner grant applications.
  • Tuesdays are for disability grant applications.
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays are for child grant applications.
  • Fridays are for appointments only.

R350 social grant

Zulu said she was uncertain whether the social grant would return but her department had made submissions to the Treasury for the grant to continue. She cautioned that she was also aware of the Treasury’s financial constraints.

“Long before the last payment, we made a request for it (R350 grant) to continue, based on the impact of Covid-19on out people. We are waiting to see if it will be possible as we are in the third wave and there has already been a lot of job loss and most young people are unemployed.”

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