The terrorising of social workers in the Ulundi area was condemned by Kwazulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza on Tuesday.
Khoza said crimes against social workers in the uMkhanyakude, King Cetshwayo and Zululand districts included being hijacked while they were driving official vehicles.
This emerged when she met with employees at the Old Legislature Building in Ulundi on Tuesday who shared their experiences of being targeted by criminals while on duty.
Khoza called on the public to protect social workers and all department employees, saying they worked hard to protect the vulnerable in society.
“I’m very much hurt and angry to be told that a number of social workers have been hijacked in various incidents while serving our communities,” she said.
“Social workers work mostly with people who have deep emotional scars and therefore they play a very important role in our communities.
“We call on the public to help protect our community care workers and social workers by reporting any acts of crime against these employees. These people dedicate their lives to serving our communities regardless of the terrain they have to travel to.”
Khoza is expected to meet with her community safety counterpart, Mxolisi Kaunda, to find ways to curb these crimes and ensure the safety of her employees.
She said it was concerning there was a high rate of their vehicles being stolen.
“We must know that the performance of this department will be measured by the quality of our work and the impact it makes in the lives of ordinary citizens,” she said.
Khoza also urged the public to hand over any information on planned crimes or those that had occurred.