South Africa: Early Childhood Development Court Order Will 'Exacerbate Gross Inequalities in SA'


The order handed down on Monday, that private Early Childhood Development centres may reopen subject to prescribed protective gear to combat Covid-19, will exclude thousands of centres that serve the poorer communities in South Africa.

See previous article on ruling here.

The chaos and confusion that exists in official circles regarding childcare centres was clearly illustrated on Monday in a judgment handed down by the Pretoria High Court. Justice Hans Fabricius noted: "It is, with respect, even for a legal professional, a challenge to wade through the complexities of the situation."

But he ruled, in a judgment castigating the behaviour of both the Basic Education Department and the Department of Social Development, that private preschool establishments could open immediately. However, this would be subject to "prescribed safety measures being in place". This relates to private protection equipment (PPE).

The action was brought by the Skole-Ondersteuningsentrum (SOS), the Bronkiesland Kleuterskool and the Solidarity Union that supports the SOS.

The SA Childcare Association ((SACA), a subsidiary of a Pretoria-based company offering various training services, joined the action as amicus curiae, and hailed the ruling as a major breakthrough.

However, the ruling is unlikely to have any effect on the overwhelming majority of...

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