9 000 unemployed social workers in SA, 1 200 vacancies remain

Issued by Bridget Masango MP – DA Shadow Minister of Social Development
09 Jul 2023 in News
  • 9000 unemployed social workers in South Africa while the vulnerable are deprived of essential services.
  • DSD has failed to fill 1 279 vacant posts across the country.
  • Minister Zulu must implement urgent measures to fill the vacant posts and address the shortages. 

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Bridget Masango MP

The DA calls on the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, to urgently implement measures to fill the vacant social worker positions and address the shortages.

Despite the severe shortage of employed social workers in the country, the Department of Social Development has failed to fill the 1 279 vacant posts across the country.

In the Free State, 101 posts have been vacant for 8 years, while the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have failed to fill their respective 151 and 107 vacancies for 5 and 4 years.

The other provinces have had vacancies for between 6 months and 2 years. This was revealed by the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, in answer to a written parliamentary question from the DA.

What is particularly disturbing is the fact that 9 000 social workers remain unemployed, and that this number has remained unchanged since last year when a similar question was asked.

The tragedy is this vast vacancy rate is to the detriment of millions of vulnerable people that are being deprived of essential services, in turn escalating the social ills brought on by the ANC government’s continued failures. Last year, government stated that 5 000 social workers are needed to implement substance abuse legislation, and 3 000 for the Older Person’s Act.

This tragic state of affairs shows just how little the ANC government cares about the well-being, lives and livelihoods of already vulnerable South Africans.