KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Mrs Nonhlanhla Khoza conducted an oversight visit to different facilities of the Department under King Cetshwayo District, on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, to ascertain that communities get service delivery.
She visited Lower Umfolozi Service Office and Ngwelezane Place of Safety which coincided with the handing over 100 Social Relief of Distress vouchers. Vouchers to the tune of R1 350 each were administered to the most needy people who have gone through profiling as mandated by the law.
MEC Khoza has been following the work done by social workers to ensure that all beneficiaries were screened before the administration of SRD vounchers.
She was joined by Member of Parliament, Mrs Alice Mthembu, uMhlathuze Local Municipality Speaker Councillor Silondile Mkhize and Head of Department of Social Development, Mrs Nelisiwe Vilakazi who addressed some of the concerns raised by the workforce in the facility.
In her address to the employees, MEC Khoza appluded social workers for their dedication in servicing the communities regardless of challenges they faced, including high numbers of highjackings.
"We are very concerned about the lives of our employees because this office has become more prone to hijackings. Our social workers are now in fear of doing their jobs, which includes home visit because criminals target our vehicles. Despite such challenges, we are pleased that social workers continue to do their work while putting their lives at risk," she said.
It saddens us that social workers are seen as soft-targets and are targeted because crooks know you can’t physically fight back, she said.
She applauded the local office for working hard to deal with forster care backlog and urged communities to protect social workers from communities because they will end up being unable to do their work.
"We continue to call on communities to improve and tighten up protection of government employees as they have a responsibility to deal with service delivery," said MEC Khoza.
MEC Khoza also expressed her joy at the way the place of safety is functioning. She added that government has prioritised the safety of children. The facility also has a proper functioning school for the children.
ISSUED BY KWAZULU-NATAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT