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Social Service Practitioners Bill Under the Spotlight

November 18, 2021

Department of Social Development

The Draft Social Service Practitioners Bill will be tabled before cabinet for approval in the current quarter.

The social development department confirmed this during a briefing in parliament on its 2020/21 Annual Performance Report last week.

The department added that the redrafting of the draft bill was finalized and submitted to the chief state law advisor for final certification.

A SEIAS certificate on the draft bill was also received from the planning, monitoring and evaluation department.

As regards the Draft Older Persons Amendment Bill, the department pointed out that the draft bill was approved by cabinet in August 2021 for tabling in parliament.

Cabinet, in a statement at the time, declared that the amendments “seek to strengthen measures that protect older persons. It improves the services offered to older persons such as social support, health, community-based and residential-based care”.

Cabinet added that the proposed bill also introduces the monitoring and evaluation of services offered to older persons.

“It also provides for the removal of older persons with disabilities from a hostile or unhealthy environment without obtaining a Court Order.”

The department indicated that the draft bill will now be tabled in parliament and the portfolio committee on social development was requested to consider prioritising the draft bill once it is tabled.

The department also informed the committee that editorial work on the Draft Policy on Social Development Services to Persons with Disabilities has been wrapped up and the “document is being processed through relevant structures for finalization”.

According to the department, delays to submit the policy to cabinet were due to additional edits that needed to be concluded as well as ensuring its re-alignment to the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The department also pointed out that Regulations to the Social Assistance Amendment Act have been finalised and approved and are ready for publication.