A total of 28 283 applications, which translates to 125 407 staff members in the Early Childhood Development (ECD), have been submitted to the Department of Social Development for the ECD Employment Stimulus Relief Fund (ECD-ESRF).

This follows the national call from Social Development for all Early Childhood Development programmes to apply for the ECD-ESRF. Verification and payments are now being processed for qualifying ECDs.

Department spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said that as part of the cleaning and removal of duplicate applications amongst others, the number of applications on the system is 25 571 applications with 116 102 staff members.

She said that since the beginning of the verification process, the department has also found 98 applications of deceased people, when verified with the national population register.

“As part of the ongoing verification process that is completed by the department, applicants have been sent a sms (Short Message Service) to advise them to update their applications. In this regard, ECD operators who have applied for the ECD ESRF are urged to ensure that all their details that have been captured on the application are correct as this will impact on the approval and processing of the payments to the applicants,” Oliphant said.

Incorrect bank and staff verification

Oliphant added that during the verification process, common issues that have been picked included incorrect Identity Document (ID) numbers and names of applicants (the name and surname of employees and their ID numbers are not the same as stated in their Identity document); incorrect banking information (the status of bank verifications can be checked on the Central Supplier Database (CSD) website; incorrect addresses and incorrect classification of being either a funded or unfunded service.

“It is extremely important to note that the department is unable to process any payments if applications have bank and staff verification inaccuracies as a result of wrong information submitted by applicants. Therefore, it is important for applicants to verify their details and do the necessary corrections to avoid payment delays,” Oliphant said.

Applicants may log into https://ecd.gov.za/ecd/login <https://ecd.gov.za/ecd/login> link to ensure that their details are accurate and use the same link to correct or update their details. This should be done by using the reference number they received when they submitted their applications on the GovChat platform.

The department has thanked the ECD sector for their participation and support during this process as it remains committed to supporting all ECD programmes that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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