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Gauteng has shortage of social workers while graduates sit at home jobless, says DA

The DA in Gauteng says it’s concerned with the unfilled critical skills vacancies in the Department of Social Development. Picture: Independent archives.

The DA in Gauteng says it’s concerned with the unfilled critical skills vacancies in the Department of Social Development. Picture: Independent archives.

Published Mar 24, 2021

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Johannesburg: The DA in Gauteng said it was concerned about the information revealed by the province’s Department of Social Development regarding vacancy rate for critical skills.

This comes after the development’s annual report for the 2019/2020 financial year revealed that there was a vacancy rate of:

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– 50%for occupational therapists.

– 36% for psychologists.

– 26%f or professional nurses.

– 166 social worker and related professionals.

Refiloe Nt’sekhe, the DA spokesperson for social development in Gauteng, said it was concerning that the vacancies were not filled, despite the many unemployed graduates in the province.

She said the department’s failure to fill the critical and specialised posts affected poor people who could not afford private services, particularly residents of informal settlements.

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“This is especially concerning, considering these vacancies were in the financial year a month before Covid-19 hit the shores of South Africa, setting up the provincial health care system for failure.

“Furthermore, despite the high vacancy rates, it is worrying that the department reprioritised R91 million from the compensation of employees in the department’s special adjustment budget for the 2020/21 financial year, during the middle of the Covid-19 storm.

“The DA calls on the Gauteng MEC for Social Development Morakane Mosupyoe to ensure that all funded critical skills positions such as social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists and professional nurses are urgently filled,” she said.

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