The Unemployed Social Workers of South Africa has reacted with outrage at recent remarks made by Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu that social workers who were trained by the department will be prioritised for employment.
The movement has accused the minister of discriminating against Social Workers who are self-funded. Over 9 000 Social Workers are unemployed in the country. The group is demanding equal employment opportunities.
“They were trained by the Department of Social Development (DSD) but were never employed. Today we say they will be employed. Not only DSD but also in the private sector,” says Minister Zulu.
The Unemployed Social Workers of South Africa say this breeds unfairness and discrimination.
“The minister is discriminating against self-funded social workers,” says unemployed social worker Maria Tshetlo.
The movement is also demanding a meeting with the minister for proper consultation.
“They hope the meeting can help with a memo that can hold the minister accountable,” Tshetlo added.
As their frustrations deepen, they also want President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene.
“Mr President we want you to help us,” Tshetlo reiterates.
Meanwhile, some social workers who did their internships with the Department of Social Development claim that they were not paid.
The Social Development Minister has indicated that she has requested money from the Finance Minister to address the social workers’ concerns including dealing with the unemployment crisis in the sector.
The department is yet to decide how many of the thousands without work will get formal employment.
VIDEO: Unemployed social workers voice their frustration: