'Shortage of social workers'
The national population to social worker ratio is 5,446 to one.
There is a shortage of social workers in the government and in non-profit sectors, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said.
The total number of social workers registered with the SA Council for Social Service Professions as at March stood at 16,740, it said in a statement.
SAIRR said 6,655 of them were employed by the government, 2,634 by non-profit organisations, and 7,451 were either employed in the private sector or were not practising, but retained their registered status.
It said the national population to social worker ratio was 5,446 to one.
The lowest provincial ratio was in the Eastern Cape at 4,903 to one and the highest in the Free State at 5,935 to one.
SAIRR said that, according to the department of social development, the current norm for population to social worker ratio was 5,000 to one.