A protest rocked the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters in central Joburg, this time over an alleged capping of the retirement age for ECD workers. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - An early morning protest rocked the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters in central Joburg, this time over an alleged capping of the retirement age for early childhood development (ECD) workers in Limpopo.    

On Thursday morning, a group of elderly women from the Limpopo Early Childhood Development Forums demanded that the retirement age be raised from 60.

The women wanted the ANC to intervene in their matter, saying the provincial government refused to fund their crèches once they turn 60.

They carried placards saying “Limpopo ECD Forums are crying” and sang protest songs while threatening to wait outside Luthuli House until President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed them. 

The 18-to-35-year-olds the Limpopo government wanted to replace them with individuals who “were inexperienced”, the protesters alleged. 

Majority of ECD centres in the country were privately run. They receive funds from the social development department and fees charged on children.

There were now plans to place them under the Basic Education Department and improve their funding.

A high-level panel set up by Parliament recommended that the State transform community crèches into institutions that are more educational, The Star reported in January. 

One member of the Limpopo ECD Forum said the government should upgrade the infrastructure for all ECDs so they can be registered fully and not be considered to be "conditionally" registered.

The women said their protest was also aimed at highlighting income problems in the ECD centres.

Demanding proper income from the government., the protestors said they were tired of receiving meagre stipends.

The Star