Social support applications 'dumped' in open field
The Democratic Alliance claims it found “thousands” of social support applications dumped in a field in the Free State on Monday.
“It is heartbreaking that the applications were for abused children and complainants without any source of income and who turned to the department in the hopes that their situation would be turned around‚” DA Free State premier candidate Patricia Kopane said.
Kopane and party spokesperson Geordin Hill-Lewis found the documents in an open field while they were conducting an oversight inspection at a waste recycling plant in Thaba Nchu‚ about 70km east of Bloemfontein.
SHOCKING DISCOVERY! Child abuse reports strewn across the field in Thaba Nchu. @Our_DA FS Premier Candidate @SPKopane & #Team1SA Spokesperson on Jobs @geordinhl are following up on the matter with the Provincial Department of Social Development. pic.twitter.com/kaBGfk8bT8— DA Free State (@DAFSNews) January 7, 2019
Kopane wrote to Free State social development MEC Butana Kompela demanding an investigation.
“It is unacceptable that officials at the department of social development can be so reckless with confidential information which should not be seen by the public.”
Kopane said most recent documents were from October 2018 and included:
- Child support grant transfers;
- Child abuse and deliberate negligence cases;
- Social worker reports for relief of distress;
- Affidavits by women abused by their spouses who were seeking temporary shelter.
Kopane said: “IDs and details of abused children must be stored securely and not dumped in an open veld. This can potentially expose children to unscrupulous individuals and the complainants can fall prey to information or identity theft.”
Kopane said the DA would give copies of the dumped documents to Kompela to investigate whether the applications were processed before they were dumped.l.