KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development secures 967 contract social workers

MEC Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development has hired new social workers to help tackle frequent incidents of gender-based violence, abuse of women and children and unemployment.

Around 967 social workers are responsible for providing care and support to those affected by gender-based violence and ensuring that they are well prepared to face perpetrators in court to ensure successful prosecutions.

Over R23 million has been set aside for the employment of these social workers. They will spend more time providing psychosocial support to victims of gender-based violence.

KZN Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza, said the employment of social workers will give a much-needed boost to the work being done by the department to fight the scourge. She added that the province is currently grappling with the scourge of gender-based violence, including rape and abuse, which leaves those affected shattered for life.

“The department has sent a request to the Treasury to be authorized to employ social workers due to the high demand observed due to the high number of cases of gender-based violence. There are approximately 967 social workers employed and deployed across the province, with each district receiving 80 social workers, while eThekwini receives 167 social workers due to its vastness. These social workers took up their duties from December 1 and are employed on a four-month contract,” she said.

Khoza said social workers are helpful in strengthening teams that implement the department’s mandate, including implementing preventive measures, education, and measures to address the abuses often experienced by women and children. children in society.

“These are graduate social workers who haven’t worked since leaving university. Some of them used all of their family savings to pay for their education, while others were funded by the government.

Khoza said the current situation the country is facing as a result of Covid-19 and gender-based violence has necessitated the employment of social work graduates. She said that although their employment is not permanent, it was a positive effort to deal with the pandemic and high unemployment.

“In the future, we would like to absorb them to help us tackle the challenges we face in the communities. Our department is at the heart of all efforts to reduce levels of social ills and vulnerability. Therefore, the employment of these social workers is essential to address social ills.

Joel C. Hicks