Kestell – The Geduld community, home to 18 impoverished families, recently saw a much needed early childhood development centre closed down.
Community member Sarah Mofokeng said they had been told that the closure was due to a lack of funds from the Department of Social Development. The community had also been paying for a lay teacher.
Mofokeng added that a number of families had moved “back to the township”, but many of them remained because “at least here we are able to grow our own food”.
The closure means that the mothers now take children with them when they go to do manual labout on neighbouring farms.
“We have a big problem here. Our children are not growing up like other children because of the lack of facilities,” said one farm dweller in Geduld.
“We have no option but to take the children with us to the fields and it is really not healthy for the children to be exposed to harsh weather conditions be it rain and cold,” said farm worker Maditaba Mokoena.
Community leader Thabo Motaung said the closure of the centre has also seen parents sending their children to boarding schools in QwaQwa, more than 44km away.