Over 400 Social Auxiliary Workers report for duty

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pretoria - Over 400 Social Auxiliary Workers (SAW) have reported for duty at the social service points offices in the North West after completing a 12 month training programme in the social service sector.

The workers were recruited through government's Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) from deprived communities across the province and some worked as caregivers in Early Childhood Centres.

As from Monday, they now work as assistants to social workers, where they complement and support social work in all focus areas with services to individuals, families, groups and communities.

The SAW employment follows a commitment by provincial Health and Social Development MEC Rebecca Kasienyane to create more than 3 000 job opportunities with funds committed to social welfare related programmes including social auxiliary worker learnerships, the Masupatsela youth pioneer programme, national youth service, home and community-based Care, Love Life and early childhood development.

An amount of R 47 million was set aside this financial year for the absorption of 409 SAW as permanent employees of the department.

A percentage in the allocation of annual social work bursaries will also be dedicated to serve as an exit opportunity for community care givers within projects funded by the department who meet university entry requirements.

Kasienyane said that through this programme, the department is creating job opportunities, while building capacity through accredited training and ultimately introducing EPWP beneficiaries into formal employment.

"This is all part of governments' second economy strategies, which must be understood within the context of continuum of interventions," Kasienyane said.