Limpopo Acting Social Development MEC, Phophi Ramathuba, says the Department has no budget to appoint 800 social workers who have completed their studies.
Ramathuba says Social Development has a contractual obligation with the social workers to do community work before they can be employed by other Departments and the private sector.
Addressing the Legislature Standing Committee on Social Development in Polokwane, Ramathuba says the Department no longer offered bursaries to social workers.
She’s suggested that government training programmes be central in the Higher Education Department.
“Not being employed, but we have trained them – and we have put up money to train them. So my question will be, why don’t we say, we do not give anybody bursary? It must be the Department of Higher Education to fund training. We do not issue any bursary, we can only issue a bursary to a profession that we know you have a post. But without a post let it be Department of Higher Education to train you. And we use the money top up trying to absorb some of the social workers.”
Meanwhile, Limpopo Social Development Committee Chairperson, Sylvia Mudau says there is a shortage of social workers. She
says there must be one social worker to serve a municipal ward.
“We are not satisfied by the decision that the Department is saying that they are no longer continuing in taking and sponsoring social workers while there is policy saying one ward one social worker. So we say if the Department stop this it will never reach that target of one social one ward.”