NEWS & ANALYSIS

Call for inter-ministerial solution to 9 000 unemployed social workers – Bridget Masango

DA MP says this could have a crucial impact on the social ills that plague our society

DA calls on Deputy President to facilitate inter-ministerial solution to 9 000 unemployed social workers

22 October 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on the Deputy President, David Mabuza, to facilitate inter-ministerial engagements between the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, and other relevant ministers in Cabinet to address the lack of political will and funding to absorb social workers in crucial areas within the public sector.

During a recent meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, it was revealed that 9 284 qualified social workers are currently sitting at home without any employment due to funding constraints, lack of capacity and a lack of adequate tools of the trade within the Department of Social (DSD).

These unemployed social workers could have a crucial impact on the social ills that plague our society. The Covid-19 pandemic, not only laid bare the social and humanitarian challenges in South Africa, but it also exacerbated it. Now, more than ever before, South Africa requires qualified social workers on the ground to assist and support our most vulnerable communities.

The ongoing failings of the DSD to deploy social workers into critical areas ultimately put issues such as childcare and Gender Based Violence on the backseat. It is for this reason that the DA is calling on the Deputy President, who is the Leader of Government Business, to address the issue of unemployed social workers.

The poor inter-ministerial cooperation between the DSD and the Departments of Basic Education, Health, SAPS and Treasury not only impedes the absorption of social workers into the workforce but also government’s ability to reach vulnerable and at-risk groups. Absorbing social workers within the health, education and policing sectors could address the issues of poor leadership, lack of funding and poor capacity within the DSD and allow for immediate access to much-needed social services.

Issued by Bridget Masango,DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, 22 October 2020