Home News Caregivers still waiting for payment

Caregivers still waiting for payment

243

Caregivers employed by 3L Development in Warrenton expressed frustration when the Northern Cape Department of Social Development once again “failed to pay” the remaining 50% of their salaries.

The caregivers send a message to the department. Picture: Supplied

CAREGIVERS employed by 3L Development in Warrenton expressed frustration when the Northern Cape Department of Social Development once again “failed to pay” the remaining 50% of their salaries.

Despite sending a delegation to the Department of Social Development in Kimberley on May 22, their efforts to demand payment were unsuccessful.

Initially employed on a three-year contract, these 28 caregivers worked for only one year before the work was halted. They were informed that 3L Development had terminated its contract with the Department of Social Development.

While they received full salaries in April, May, and June (their first tranche), they have not been paid in full since July 2023 until March 2024.

Waiting for four months without income, they finally began demanding answers.

The caregivers lamented the lack of communication from officials, emphasising the financial strain caused by frequent trips to Kimberley to seek what was rightfully owed to them.

“Officials are just sitting in their offices and not doing their work. Maybe if they had written us letters or sent messages to inform us of the situation it would be understandable. Now we have to spend the little money that we earn on transport to travel to Kimberley to fight for what is due to us,” said one of the frustrated caregivers.

She said they only learned about the contract termination in the fourth month of non-payment.

“We learned about this during a meeting with the district officials, board members and the social worker who was monitoring us in Warrenton. It was then agreed that we should continue to work on the project, until the project ends in March 2024, with the hope that it gets renewed.

“We have been working like that with the promise that by the end of March, each caregiver would receive payment for the entire nine months, spanning from July 2023.

“An e-mail clarified that we should not return to work from April 2024.”

“It is fine with us, we accept that we are now unemployed, as per notice by the department. But we want our money for the entire nine months that we were told to work.

“They have all the proof and reports that we have been working on and we submitted everything as per requirement.

The caregiver said that in May, a partial payment was made, but only 50% of what they anticipated.

“We were told the chief financial officer (CFO) decided to pay us only half. No one is saying anything or giving us updates. We are the ones running after them.”

During their most recent visit to the department on May 22, the caregivers arrived with placards, aiming to send a stronger message. This allowed them to engage with management, who promised feedback within two days. However, despite these efforts, no payment was made.

The caregivers felt they had given the department ample time to resolve the issue, yet they continued to face delays and evasive responses instead of receiving their rightful compensation.

Expressing frustration, one caregiver remarked, “We have been taken for fools. Since before the elections we have been calling for answers and were told that there was no one on duty at the finance office. We are told that the delays are caused by the finance office. But we can see that they are playing mind games. Where have you ever heard that the entire section is absent.”

By the time of going to print, the Northern Cape Department of Social Development has not provided any feedback on the situation, even though spokesperson Gamiem Abrahams claimed it was resolved, a statement the caregivers disputed.

During their most recent visit to the department on May 22, the caregivers arrived with placards, aiming to send a stronger message. Picture: Supplied

Previous articleMayor and Speaker play musical chairs at Nama-Khoi
Next articleScholarship empowering city student to achieve engineering dream