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.