Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: GCIS
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: GCIS

Covid-19 in SA: More than 1800 social workers to be recruited, says Zulu

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published May 11, 2020

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Johannesburg - Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says over 1800 social workers will be recruited to help increase social support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Zulu, who was briefing the media on Monday, said as many households faced numerous challenges during the national lockdown and the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, there was growing need to help increase social assistance to families.

"Social services professionals are continuously at the frontline of this pandemic. We are recruiting an addition 1809 social workers to reinforce the current workforce and to provide a range of social work services. This includes timely psychosocial interventions to assist individuals and families," Zulu said.

The social workers will be employed for three months and all of the country's nine provinces will receive recruits. The distribution will be as follows:

Eastern Cape: 171
Free State: 92
Gauteng: 676
KZN: 266
Limpopo: 116
Mpumalanga: 128
Northern Cape: 33
North West: 81
Western Cape: 246

"The social workers will be employed for a period of three months for and priority will be given to social work graduates who have registered on the department's database of unemployed qualified social workers. A further 1200 unemployed social work graduates will be given a one-year internship opportunity.

"The provision of psychosocial services are an integral part of disaster response and it helps individuals to help build back their lives," Zulu said.

The minister has also announced changes to regulations that will now allow for children to be transported between provinces to be with their primary caregivers.

Zulu said she has heard the calls from parents, but she said this allowance will have to be done through obtaining a permit. She said this was to ensure that no illegal movement of children was taking place.

She appealed to parents to act responsibly.

"We appeal to parents, caregivers who share joint custody to be responsible and to act in good faith and to prioritise the health and safety of their children. We have a zero-tolerance for any parent or caregiver who recklessly exposes their child to any Covid-19 risk," she said.

Zulu and Sassa CEO Busisiwe Memela-Khambula also announced the system was ready to receive applications for the social distress grant. The R350 grant is being offered to unemployed individuals for the next six months. The minister and Memela-Khambula stressed that only those who receive no form of assistance from the government can apply for this grant.


* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the government's 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or go to SA Coronavirus for more information.

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