The Star Late Edition

Women’s shelter staff down tools


THE Gauteng Department of Social Developmen­t has been accused of not taking the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) seriously and withholdin­g the payment of staff at a women’s shelter.

DA MPL Refiloe Ntsheke said the victims of GBV at Ikhaya Lethemba, a shelter for abused women and children, are now suffering double trauma without much-needed support and services as workers down tools over non-payment of salaries.

Ikhaya Lethemba for Abused Women and Children falls under the Gauteng Department of Community Safety.

However, the Gauteng Department of Social Developmen­t is responsibl­e for providing social support services at this facility.

“All staff members contracted to the Gauteng Department of Social

Developmen­t have not been at work due to non-payment of salaries,” Ntsheke said.

The DA recently conducted an oversight inspection at this facility and discovered that four social workers and 15 victim support service staff members were not at work because they hadn’t been paid their salaries, she said.

“We were told that they do not have money to commute to work.

“This is unacceptab­le as this facility is a one-stop centre for the victims of GBV and provides crucial services such as victim empowermen­t services, psycho-social services, medico-legal support, and shelter,” she said.

Ntsheke said failure to pay staff salaries is depriving the victims of GBV of much-needed services, considerin­g the scourge of GBV in Gauteng.

“The DA will engage directly with both MECs for Social Developmen­t and Community Safety to urgently resolve the non-payment of salaries at

Ikhaya Lethemba for Abused Women and Children to ensure that the victims of GBV receive uninterrup­ted services,” Ntsheke said.

The DA was expected to conduct a follow-up oversight inspection at this facility to ensure that all workers have returned to work and are rendering services to the victims of GBV.

The Department of Social Developmen­t in Gauteng said it would revert back to with a comment once they had investigat­ed the matter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa