Khoza said the social workers have gone through intense training on how to respond to the incidents of GBV and prevention, victim empowerment and trauma management.
“These social workers have been placed at police stations, Thuthuzela care centres and crisis care centres in all districts to provide psychosocial support to all victims of crime and violence.
She said the provincial treasury had allocated R14.4m to allow her department to roll out the programme.
Khoza said these funds were used to employ the 153 social workers (this includes eight social work supervisors) through Lifeline while 30 social workers were employed on contract by the national department of social development.
“The allocation of social workers is based on the crime hotspot districts and the prevalence of incidents of gender-based violence. The eThekwini Metro has a high prevalence of sexual violence and has thus been allocated the highest number.
She said there had been an increase in reported cases of sexual offences in Zululand and this has also informed the allocation of social workers.
Khoza said the department had established a call centre which is manned by four social workers. Other phases of the call centre would include a Skype facility and the development of a mobile app.