Government warns against criminals offering 'door-to-door' sanitisation

14 April 2020 - 11:38 By Aphiwe Deklerk
The social development department has warned members of the public to remain vigilant against opportunists and criminals who want to take advantage of them during the lockdown. Stock photo.
The social development department has warned members of the public to remain vigilant against opportunists and criminals who want to take advantage of them during the lockdown. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/milkos

The department of social development has issued a warning to the public about organisations claiming to be doing “door-to-door” sanitisation for Covid-19.

Acting director-general Mzolisi Toni said in a statement that his department had not partnered nor contracted any organisation to implement door-to-door sanitisation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“The acting director-general is advising members of the public to remain vigilant against opportunists and criminals who want to take advantage of them during the lockdown,” he said.

The department said people were going door-to-door claiming to represent Scientology Volunteer Ministries, a non-profit organisation, carrying out “Covid-19 sanitisation” on its behalf.

Toni said the department had contracted the NPO on a “once-off agreement” to fumigate its premises and facilities.

“To date, the NPO has rendered free fumigation services at the department’s head office in Pretoria, the Gauteng social development head office in Johannesburg and a number of DSD facilities in the Gauteng region,” said Toni.

Videos circulating on social media depict personnel, purportedly from the NPO, sanitising and decontaminating township homes. They also show municipal buildings, including the Rand West mayor’s office, being sanitised.

Toni said “the department and  Scientology Volunteer Ministries have agreed to terminate the fumigation agreement” as a result of people going door-to-door claiming to represent the NPO.

“The department acknowledges the good work of the church. but cannot be drawn into misrepresentation when the prime focus of the department is on rolling out interventions to mitigate against Covid-19.

“The acting director-general wishes to warn members of the public that the department has not contracted or partnered any organisation to conduct door-to-door sanitisation for Covid-19,” said Toni.


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