News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday February 16th 2019

Child welfare offices reopen in Du Noon following row over jobs

Peter Luhanga

Cape Town Child Welfare (CTWC) this week reopened its Du Noon offices after having to close at the end of June following a row with local residents over job allocations. The CTWC Du Noon office was initially opened in April, but towards the end of June angry Du Noon community leaders stormed into the offices threatening, pushing and shouting at the social workers, asking them how they came to be working there when they did not reside in the community.

Continued confrontations over the five social worker posts not being given to Du Noon residents led to the office temporarily closing its doors and the social workers being relocated to CTWC’s Athlone offices, from whence they responded only to emergency cases in Du Noon, said CTCW CEO Niresh Ramklaas.

On Wednesday this week CTCW senior manager Ina Vermeulen confirmed that they had reopened their Du Noon office on Tuesday after a deal was struck at a meeting between Du Noon community leaders and the CTWC on Monday.

She said four Du Noon community leaders, CTCW representatives and Department of Social Development officials attended Monday’s meeting where it was agreed that if any of the currently occupied social worker posts became vacant, Du Noon residents would be considered to fill the posts.

Additionally, she said the Du Noon leaders indicated they had no problem with social workers from other areas necessarily being employed, but wanted posts such as administrative clerks and cleaners, which required lesser skills, to be given to Du Noon residents.

She said the leaders also asked that in future vacant posts be advertised within Du Noon and not only in the mainstream media.

“They are comfortable with social workers working there because their skills are scarce, but have a problem with positions that do not require specific skills,” said Vermeulen.

Du Noon Development Forum (DDF) spokesperson Thandiswa Stokwe said they needed social workers’ services but CTCW made a mistake in not employing local residents for lesser skilled posts.

“People complain to us (community leaders) that we are allowing other people from outside Du Noon to work here while that does not happen in other townships,” said Stokwe.

Du Noon South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) Chairman Andile Peter said it was very important that community leaders understood the process of employment to avoid controversy.

Ramklaas said the social workers were keen to carry on working in Du Noon.

“They are able to easily reach the children on the ground,” said Ramklaas

He said Du Noon had 37 new cases every month, mainly involving abandoned children.

Western Cape department of social development spokesperson Luthando Namzi confirmed that the department mediated the agreement and that the office had been reopened. — West Cape News

Tags: childwelfare, DuNoon, ramklaas, socialdevelopment

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