KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Nonhlanhla Khoza, has warned job seekers about scammers posing as government officials and selling jobs to unsuspecting members of the public.
In a statement, the department warned there is a group of people calling desperate and unsuspecting job seekers and promising them jobs in the department in exchange for R9,000.
The scammers are said to be targeting residents in the areas of Southern Cluster, including Ugu, Harry Gwala and Umgungudlovu Districts.
“Their modus operandi include contacting individuals and parents of job seekers and enticing them to pay in order to secure jobs for their children,” the department said.
Khoza has urged people to be very careful of the criminals promising them jobs, emphasising that government jobs are not for sale.
“We would not ask people seeking employment to pay for any job in the department. In the department, we follow a fair and transparent recruitment process where jobs are advertised in newspapers and other public platforms. People are then urged to apply for jobs and go through the process of interviews,” Khoza said.
She reiterated that no fee needs to be paid in order to secure any permanent employment within government.
“We are very concerned that these [scammers] mislead desperate people to pay money via instant money transfer at stores to a cellphone number, cash-send and eWallet for them to get jobs,” Khoza said.
The MEC called on all victims of the scam to immediately open criminal cases with the police, while the department also looks at ways to deal with this matter.
"We are going to work closely with the SAPS in order to ensure that we furnish investigators with all information they need to trace these criminals because they are fleecing desperate people, denting the image of the department.
“We urge all those who have been scammed to give all information to the law enforcement agencies so that the criminals can be arrested," Khoza said.
She further urged communities to be wary of individuals who ask them to pay for jobs.
"The department advertises in newspapers, including its website, when there are jobs available. At no stage will government officials ask individuals seeking employment to pay.
“We encourage people to follow all proper channels when we advertise jobs to apply through these reliable media,” she said.
Khoza said the department has been furnished with detailed phone recordings where one of the scammers pursued a job seeker to deposit money immediately, in order to secure a job with the department.