KZN’s Social Development department has the money to employ 110 social workers

Issued by Mmabatho Tembe, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Social Development
21 May 2024 in Press Statements

The DA has identified R27.6million within KwaZulu-Natal’s Department of Social Development (DSD) budget that could be utilised to employ 110 desperately needed social workers.

The figure is based on the average social worker salary in South Africa of R242 292 per annum.

The DA’s finding comes after years of suffering for many qualified social workers in the province, who remain unemployed despite a dire need for their services. According to DSD MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza, this is due to a lack of funding within the department.

The DA’s comprehensive assessment of the DSD budget shows that the money to employ more social workers is there. The problem is the lack of political will from KZN’s ANC-run government to make it happen.

The DA has identified three programmes which we believe must be scrapped and overhauled in order to make this happen. These include;

• The Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Livelihoods programme – with a R23 million budget. This programme is extremely difficult to monitor, evaluate and audit. It is also easy to manipulate and use these funds for campaigning purposes

• Population Policy Promotion – with a R2.7million budget. In this regard, the Department needs to employ graduates to do the job instead of using expensive consultants and;

• Community Mobilization – with a R1.9million budget. DSD claims that the programme aims to build safe and sustainable communities through the creation of strong community networks, based on trust and respect for local diversity, and nurturing a sense of belonging and confidence in local people. The question is: How is this being monitored?

MEC Khoza and her department can no longer continue to pump millions of Rands into barely functioning programmes, with little to no monitoring and evaluation on their impact. Social workers perform a critical role within communities and the bottom line is that funding needs to be re-directed.

Only a DA-led government has the solutions and the initiative needed to make our province work. When KZN’s people go to the polls on 29 May, they will have the opportunity to rescue our province and install a government that makes things happen.