Durban- KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development Weziwe Thusi will launch a new 24-hour call centre for women and children who have been abused on Tuesday.
In a media statement, the department said the centre would operate 24 hours a day.
“Over the years, the department has noted with a great concern that vulnerable women and children are abused by their close family members and life partners even in at midnight when nobody can hear their cries,” the department said in a statement.
The department will be working with police in the province to help provide quick responses to emergencies.
Ncumisa Ndelu, the spokesperson for the department said the initial call centre was launched in 2009.
The centre had staff had received calls from the public and helped them with whatever complaints. She said they soon realised that some of the call centre agents could not offer specialised help that social workers had.
The new centre will be staffed by three social workers who will monitor the phones all day. After hours calls will be diverted to a cellphone of one the social workers. “If you are a victim of gender-based violence, you don’t have to make three calls to get help,” Ndelu said.
She said that social workers would call the police and other emergency services for on behalf of victims.
Ndelu said walk-ins were also welcome at the department’s offices which are located at 208 Hoosen Haffejee Street in Pietermaritzburg. The department was also in the process of introducing Skype to better communicate with people who have disabilities. She said they were currently teaching sign language.
People can call the centre at the Toll-Free number of 087 158 3000