Push to declare social workers as essential

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza
Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza

The MEC for Social Development (DSD), Nonhlanhla Khoza, is concerned that social workers have still not yet been declared as essential workers even though they have also been at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19.

She shared this with the provincial Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) at Tuesday’s meeting, saying social workers have been among the critical respondents to the plight of communities as they battle Covid-19.

Among the assistance that has been provided by DSD local offices are food parcels and blankets during the lockdown.

“They deal with quite critical matters and in this time of Covid we know that the three most important departments are health, education and social development, how then can we not make social workers be essential workers?”
MEC for Social Development (DSD), Nonhlanhla Khoza.

They have also continued with their work in responding to cases of abuse as well as where children have lost their parents. These included conducting home assessment visits.

“As we experience the resurgence chair [Maggie Govender] we can see that we need more social workers to go out and give that psycho-social support to families who have lost their loved ones. They need to give that psycho-social support to our NPOs [non-profit organisations] which take the vulnerable like the elderly people,” she said.

Khoza also told the committee that she had just received news that the department had lost yet another official to the virus. The acting director for uThukela District, Jabu Madlabane, died after spending two weeks in hospital battling Covid-19 related complications.

She said the death of social workers also put a strain on their colleagues, who are left to shoulder the added responsibility.

Scopa members shared Khoza’s concerns about the non-declaration of social workers as essential. ANC MPL Zinhle Cele asked for the matter to be urgently looked into.

“As we know they deal with quite critical matters and in this time of Covid we know that the three most important departments are health, education and social development, how then can we not make social workers be essential workers?

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Daily Poll
The meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and former President Jacob Zuma has been shelved after Zuma refused to engage over his refusal to attend the Zondo commission. What are your thoughts on this?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Zuma is entitled to do what he feels is right for him
17% - 28 votes
Zuma should have met with the President
23% - 38 votes
Here comes trouble. It can't end well.
61% - 102 votes
Vote
Latest Issue

View the Witness in PDF

Latest Issue
Read the latest news from KZN in digital form.
Read now