MEC puts plans in place to prevent escalation of social workers’ strike

MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza says her department is doing all it can to prevent further loss of life.

FILE: Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza says her office has put contingency plans in place to ensure the current social workers strike doesn’t escalate to the level of the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

The department confirmed on Wednesday that six-month-old Singalakha Sonamazi died after being moved from the Walter Sisulu Child Care and Youth Centre in Soweto to an NGO due to the ongoing strike.

It’s understood the baby girl was moved after a section of the facility was torched allegedly by striking workers.

About 90 children have been transferred from government facilities to NGOs since Friday.

Mayathula-Khoza says her department is doing all it can to prevent further loss of life.

“We do not want this to become another Life Esidimeni matter.”

She says the current strike in the sector is at a national level, adding that the province's hands are tied, as far as the demands of workers go.

“It is a national matter, it’s at the Bargaining Council.”

The social development MEC says the South African National Defence Force could be called to step in should the strike drag on.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)