Social Development services are available during Festive Season | Western Cape Government



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(Provincial Cabinet, Western Cape Government)

Social Development services are available during Festive Season

14 December 2021

The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) wishes to alert the public that all services will remain largely uninterrupted during the upcoming Festive Season.

“Although many officials and staff from DSD will be taking a much-needed break, the department’s operations will continue on a reduced staff contingent.

All local offices will remain open, and social workers will be available to assist with emergency statutory services, including victim empowerment services, children at high-risk, child justice and probation services,” said the Western Cape Minister for Social Development Sharna Fernandez.

“It is extra important during this festive season that we look out for one another and that we make an extra effort to reach out to those around us who may be feeling lonely or are having trouble coping, for instance by giving them a call, visiting them or sending a card.

I also wish to express my gratitude and appreciation to our Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) partners, all civil society organisations, and individuals who help and support the province’s residents. The admirable work you perform each and every day in meeting the needs of our province’s citizens demonstrates what building community is all about,” added Minister Fernandez.

Victim Empowerment Services

The Department has written to all of its funded partners in the field of victim empowerment services to ensure that staff will be on standby. As part of the COVID-19 safety protocols, each shelter has made provision for an isolation room for new intakes. The Department currently funds 25 NPOs that specialise in the delivery of shelter services to victims of crime and violence.

Child Protection Services

We urge everyone to look out for children, and if abuse is suspected, this must be reported. A report can be logged with a DSD local office, designated child protection organisation, the police, or with a health care practitioner. All Child and Youth Care Centres remain operational, so that in the event at-risk children need to be removed from their homes by social workers, they will be placed in temporary places of safety at either CYCCs or with safety or foster parents.

Substance Abuse Services

People in need of assistance can approach their nearest DSD local offices where an assessment will be conducted, and the appropriate course of action will be developed. Psychosocial support services can also be accessed from local offices.

Residential Facilities

Both Old Age Homes, and Homes for People with Disabilities are following strict COVID-19 protocols, due to their residents being at very high risk for developing severe symptoms. It is advisable that those who wish to visit residents, contact the home ahead of time to enquire about visiting arrangements.

Anyone who suspects elder abuse should report this to the Age-in-Action toll free number on 0800 333 231.

NPO Helpdesk

NPOs requiring any form of assistance during the festive season can email their queries to


  • National Women’s Shelter Movement: 0800 001 005 (24 hours)
  • Gender-Based Violence Command Centre: 0800 428 428 (24 hours)
  • Department of Social Development toll free number: 0800 220 250 (Monday – Friday, 7:30am – 4pm). On public holidays and after-hours, the callers will be directed to the relevant numbers.
  • Police: 10111
  • Childline:116
  • Age-in-Action: 0800 333 231
  • South African National Human Trafficking Hotline: 0800 222 777
Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 083 661 4949