Hendrika Kruger, DA MPL

DA Gauteng Social Development spokesperson

The Democratic Alliance is concerned that amidst a vast shortage of social workers 92 Gauteng social worker graduates were released from contracts which stipulated that the Gauteng Social Development Department had to employ them within three months of graduation.

The Department has been recruiting students through its bursary scheme and promising to later employ the graduates as an attempt to address the skills shortage.

However, the Department now cites budget constraints as the reason the students cannot be employed.

South Africa is in desperate need of at least 16 000 social workers for children’s services alone. It has been reported that nationally almost 1000 recently graduated social workers remain unemployed despite being promised jobs by the National Department of Social Development.

The Department should be actively recruiting graduates to fill the gap in the skills shortage and empowering youths wanting to be social workers.

The failure to hire will adversely affect the unemployed graduates and the lives of citizens in need of quality social assistance.

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