The department says action was taken after officials conducted a preliminary investigation into a number of serious complaints of alleged physical and sexual abuse at the centre.
The children have been placed in other child and youth care centres, and are receiving the necessary social support, including assessment and counselling.
Criminal charges have also been laid with the SAPS against the alleged perpetrators.
“Due to the seriousness of the allegations, involving a number of children at the home, the department has deemed it necessary to remove and place the children in temporary alternative accommodation in terms of s173 of the Children’s Act to ensure their safety while criminal investigations are underway,” said DSD spokesperson Esther Lewis.
“The department will find alternative long-term placement for the children. The department is also in the process of suspending the home’s registration pending the final outcome of its investigations into the matter.”
A board member at the home, Rashid Sibiya, told VOC News that the children were between the ages of eight and 16 years old.
He said they were not given more details on the allegations and could not give their side of the story yet.
In 2006, the department closed the orphanage after social workers found that poor township children were being recruited by the centre, forced to wear Islamic clothing and given Muslim names.
Many of the kids were found not to be orphans.