The Department of Social Development presented its 2012–2014 Strategic Plan and Budget to the Portfolio Committee on 20 March 2012. The Department emphasised its leading role in eradicating poverty and addressing inequity through the development of programmes targeting the most vulnerable and marginalised.
The first and foremost strategic priority is the promotion of early childhood development. Its objectives are to improve services to children in their first 1000 days by providing access to ECD and nutritious food. Interventions will include the provision of quality ECD by raising subsidies to levels that will support cognitive, social and physical development of the child; policy measures to make ECD a public good and thereby ensure universal access through strengthened policies; and addressing social infrastructure inadequacy.
Other strategic priorities include:
- Expanding Child and Youth Care services through the Isibindi Model with the objective of strengthening child protection services through child care and protection measures.
- Combating substance abuse through provision of prevention and treatment services.
- Provision of food to poor households through the implementation and monitoring of the food-for-all programmes. The state will use state procurement of food as a catalyst to grow and support food production and local procurement. Female-headed households, children and people with disabilities currently in the grant system, and those that fall within policy gaps will be prioritised.
The PowerPoint slides do not indicate that families with young children will be prioritised to complement the ECD emphasis on nutritional support in the first 1000 days. It is critical that this synergistic planning inform the planning ahead.
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