PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

QUESTION NO.: 1512

Mr M C Manana (ANC) to ask the Minister for the Public Service and Administration:

  1. Whether she has found that the working environment in the Public Service is conducive for a person with disabilities to work there; if not, what are the main obstacles;
  2. Whether she intends to put measures in place to overcome the specified obstacles; if not, why not; if so, what measures?
NW1793E

REPLY


  1. Honourable member notwithstanding considerable achievements in this area, the challenges remain. The working environment in the Public Service is not at the level we would want it to be. The challenges which we continue to experience include:
    • Access to buildings: lack of ramps, adequate signage, rails etc.
    • Stigma
    • Provision of assistive devices: despite tools that exist to address this, there is still lack of understanding hence the policy currently under development.
    • Non allocation of specific budget for disability management: funds are often allocated for “special programmes” that include issues such as women, children, aged etc.
    • Treating disability as a health issue rather than as a human rights issue.

  2. There are measures in place and we continue to explore new ways to improve the working environment for person with disabilities. For instance,
    • The DPSA is currently finalising the policy on the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation and Assistive Devices, which will not only address the obstacles mentioned above, but will strengthen the interventions that were introduced previously, i.e. the Handbook on Reasonable Accommodation for People with Disabilities in the Public Service which was intended to: fast track the efforts of ensuring an inclusive Public Service, to restore human dignity, the inherent right to work, economic independence, and social justice.
    • We launched the Job Access Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan on the Recruitment, Employment and Retention of Persons with Disabilities in the Public Service, which is intended to provide practical A – Z steps of dealing with disability issues.
    • An accredited training course on Disability Management has been developed by DPSA in conjunction with PALAMA to build capacity of officials and this course was launched in December 2011 and piloted with the Department of Public Works. To supplement this course, an additional one day training programme for Senior Managers was also developed.

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