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Crèche was vandalised – dept

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The building is full of cracks and there is only one functioning toilet that must be shared by boys and girls.

THE DEPARTMENT of Social Development has attributed the poor state of the building that houses the Boitumelo and Let It Shine crèches in Galeshewe to vandalism.

The building is full of cracks and there is only one functioning toilet that must be shared by boys and girls while the geyser is leaking and causing damage to the ceiling – not long after it underwent an upgrade.

The manager of events and special projects at the Department of Social Development, Tebogo Mokae, said yesterday that the building was in “peak condition” when it was handed over after the renovations were completed last year.

“There might have been members of the community who stole the devil’s fork fencing. We do not understand the cracks that could be caused by the nature of the soil, we cannot say for sure,” said Mokae yesterday.

He indicated that Boitumelo Crèche received a grant for the 2017/18 financial year to the amount of R224 000.

“The money was not given to the centre, but was managed from the Department of Social Development district office. The quality of work done was monitored by the early childhood development centres (ECD) project managers from provincial office,” said Mokae.

He stated that the contractors received specifications for the repair and partitioning of the toilets, fencing with devil’s fork and lockable gates and safety doors.

“The money was not to overhaul the building but to do maintenance work and make the place safe and conducive for the children. No stranger was to be allowed access into the building without being noticed by the practitioners.”

Mokae said payment was processed for work done and completed.

“Inspections were done to verify whether specifications were followed.”

He explained that the building was the property of the Sol Plaatje Municipality.

“Let It Shine Crèche was evicted from the church where it was operating from. They had no other alternative premises and moved to a shack structure in the backyard of the practitioner’s residential property. Therefore they could not be registered and the shack posed serious safety risks for the children.”

He added that they were also operating with an invalid registration certificate of Commemoration Day Care Centre. “The certificate was not recognised, as the certificate expires when you move to another building or site.

Mokae indicated that the department would inspect the building to ensure that the children were not being exposed to any undue safety hazards.

“We always go the extra mile to assist ECD centres. We ensure that each child has access to proper health care, nutrition, education and dignity in a nurturing environment.”