Minister for Public Service and Administration, Mr Roy Padayachie,is to intensify the close monitoring of how departments and provinces comply with meeting set targets for the recruitment of people with disabilities, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration was told on Wednesday.
A delegation from the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), led by Director-General Mashwahle Diphofa and the department's senior managers made a presentation to the Committee on the government's recruitment strategy for people with disabilities.
Addressing the Committee, Deputy Director General for Human Resources Management and Development in the DPSA, Mr Kenny Govender, said the 2% target that was approved by Cabinet in 2005 has not been achieved and showing a very slow progress, with only 0.6% achieved by national departments by 2011.
He said that during the period of 2012/13 the Ministry for Public Service and Administration (MPSA) would closely monitor departments, and officials would be encouraged to undergo targeted training with PALAMA, a skills training academy for government employees.
"We will work closely with the Department of Labour and other relevant stakeholders to access the employment database of people with disabilities, and will also approach Cabinet with the view to increase to 4% the recruitment and retention target for people with disabilities," he said.
The strategy to reduce the recruitment period and the vacancy rate in the public service was one of the outputs of Outcome 12 for which the MPSA is responsible, and provides for various interventions to reduce vacancies and the time it takes to fill posts.
Within its own internal initiatives and commitments, the DPSA has achieved achieved the national target of 2% and was committed to reach its internal 2,5% by 2015.
Mr Govender said staff with disability were currently enjoying equal access to skills development programmes through their own personal development plans.
Other interventions would include the training of managers and supervisors on disability management by March 2012, starting with current managers who have people with disabilities in their branches.
Ms Catherine Mohale, an ANC Member of Parliament with disability commended the DPSA for what it had achieved thus far. "There has been an improvement because at least you have moved from one point to another and other departments need to learn from your example. They should be encouraged. We cannot criticize only but have to recognize achievement where it happens," she said.
Responding to comments by MPs, DPSA Director-General, Mr Mashwahle Diphofa said the department was already working closely with the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities in ensuring that the drive to improve the lives of people with disabilities was extended to the private sector as well.Zingisile Mapazi