A girl stands amid smoke as municipal workers fumigate an area as a precautionary measure against Covid-19. Picture: Ajit Solanki/AP/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
A girl stands amid smoke as municipal workers fumigate an area as a precautionary measure against Covid-19. Picture: Ajit Solanki/AP/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Beware of people going door-to-door offering to sanitise your home, warns department

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Apr 14, 2020

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Cape Town - The Department of Social Development has warned the public that it has not contracted anyone to go door-to-door offering sanitising services. Acting Director-General Mzolisi Toni's warning comes after a letter was circulated on social media claiming that a non-profit organisation linked to the Church of Scientology has been authorised to render sanitising services to the department.

The letter, dated April 02, 2020, is printed on the department's letterhead and carries the signature of the acting director general because, Toni explains, there was a once-off agreement that the NPO would fumigate facilities belonging to the department but this was cancelled after the department became aware of scammers attempting to gain access to people's homes under the guise of offering sanitising services.

"The Acting Director-General, however, wishes to put it on record that the only agreement that existed between the Department of Social Development and Scientology Volunteer Ministries was a once-off agreement that involved the fumigation of its premises and facilities," Toni said in a statement issued on Monday.

"To date, the NPO has rendered free fumigation services at the Department’s head office in Pretoria, the Gauteng Social Development head office in Johannesburg and a number of DSD facilities in the Gauteng region.

"Unfortunately, due to the fact that there are currently persons calling door to door claiming to represent the Scientology Volunteer Ministries and carrying out “Covid-19 sanitisation” on behalf of the Department, the Department and the Scientology Volunteer Ministries have agreed to terminate the fumigation agreement.

"The Department acknowledges the good work of the church but cannot be drawn into misrepresentation when the prime focus of the Department is on rolling out interventions to mitigate against Covid-19," the statement said.

Toni further warned the public to be careful of criminal elements using the national lockdown to take advantage of vulnerable citizens.

" Under no circumstances would the Acting Director-General direct an Accounting Officer of another public entity/organisation or a household to use an NPO for unsolicited services, more so when the services in question do not relate to the core mandate of the Department," Toni said. 

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