Lindiwe Zulu, South Africa's Minister of Social Development, stated her agency needed to hire an additional 15,000 social workers in order to provide comprehensive care to people who benefited from government programs.
After DA MP Gizella Opperman pointed out that the department only had 17,000 social workers and that more were needed to implement the Children's Act, Zulu made the revelation in response to her questioning in parliament.
Opperman sought information about the total number of social workers needed to implement all of the department's programs, including the Older Persons' Program and the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Act.
In her written response, Zulu said that the National Development Plan (NDP) and other significant policy papers had emphasized the need for social care workers.
To provide enough basic social welfare services, the NDP proposes increasing the number of social service professionals by 55,000.
She elaborated, "This is because social welfare services are becoming more development-oriented, concentrating on helping vulnerable people in families and communities."
In addition, Zulu stated that district and provincial offices employed social workers who provided "an integrated basket of services across the life stages of beneficiaries," including "psycho-social care and support," "statutory and protection," "re-integration," and "aftercare" services.
There are currently 17503. social service professionals providing a wide range of assistance.
According to Zulu, 14,666 full- and part-time workers will be required for the department to offer all of the necessary social services.
Based on her calculations, a total of 10657 social workers and 4009 social auxiliary staff are required (were needed).
To carry out the requirements of the Children's Act, the Department of Social Services must hire at least 6575 social workers and 3113 social auxiliary social workers.
Probation Services Act, Victim Empowerment Act, Older Persons Act, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, and HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care and Support Act will all be implemented with the help of social workers.
The Department of Social Services has not budgeted for aspiring social workers in the upcoming 2022-23 fiscal year, despite the fact that a projected number of such people is needed.
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