The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Free State on Monday said it had written to the Social Development MEC Butana Kompela, demanding an urgent probe into the dumping of thousands of confidential social assistance applications which were found in an open field in Thaba Nchu.

“Geordin Hill-Lewis and I were conducting an oversight inspection at the failed waste recycling plant in the area when we made the shocking discovery of thousands of applications and reports strewn across the field. The recent ones were dated October 2018,” said the DA Free State premier candidate Patricia Kopane.

Kopane said that Kompela will have to conduct an urgent investigation to get to the bottom of the matter and hold those responsible for carelessly dumping the documents accountable. 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, added Kopane.

Child support grant info, and child abuse cases

The dumped applications and reports included transfers of child support grants, cases of child abuse and deliberate negligence which should be considered by the children’s court and social worker reports for the relief of distress, among others.

The DA said IDs and details of abused children must be stored securely and not dumped in an open veld. “This is a gross violation of the child care and protection act which makes provision for the care and protection of children and young persons and for connected matters.

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“It is therefore crucial that such documents and IDs, some of which were not certified, are stored in a secure place which will prevent anyone taking advantage of personal information and using it to open bank accounts or committing fraud,” said Kopane.

“It is heart-breaking that the applications were for abused children and complaints without any source of income and who turned to the department in the hopes that their situation would be turned around. South Africa is riddled with corruption and unacceptably high levels of crime but the ANC government doesn’t care enough about the well-being of South African citizens.”

DA to hand over documents to help with investigations

The DA said it will be handing over the copies of the dumped documents to assist the MEC in investigating whether applications have been processed before the documents were dumped, or whether they were dumped to avoid it being processed.

“The sight of the thousands of documents strewn across the field was a stark reminder of the failing ANC’s careless attitude towards the most vulnerable individuals in our communities. The DA will not tolerate this and we will also conduct our own investigation,” Kopane said.

Author: ANA Newswire