Hoax call by DJ to matric helpline annoys Social Development Dept

2017-01-05 14:12
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - The Department of Social Development has hit out at a Gauteng-based community radio station presenter who made hoax call to the helpline for distressed matriculants.

It has labelled the action unacceptable and a waste of a needed resource.

- Get your matric results here

"The incident was unfortunate, as the time wasted on the hoax call could have been used constructively to assist a learner or people who really needed the support," the department said in a statement.

The radio station presenter pretended to be a distressed learner, and told the social worker who answered the call that they thought they had failed because their name had not appeared in the newspaper.

The department said the social worker was calm and professional and had advised the caller to contact the Department of Basic Education, as they were the only credible source for matric results.

The conversation was broadcast on the station.  

- Read more: Counselling available for anxious matrics

The department has extended the services of the Gender Based Violence Command Centre to assist anxious learners and parents as the results are released. 

The Command Centre can be reached toll free on 0800 428 428. Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cellphone.

"While the Department of Social Development appreciates the role by the media in informing, educating and holding government to account, abuse and mocking of what is a much needed resource cannot be acceptable," department spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said.

Oliphant added that the helpline had received an unprecedented number of calls since midnight on Wednesday, when the results were released, from distraught matriculants and parents, anxious about the future of their children.

The overall pass rate has increased slightly to 72.5%.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education  |  matric 2016

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