15 December 2022 - NW4710
Buthelezi, Mr EM to ask the Minister of Public Service and Administration
Whether, with reference to complaints by many members of the public about the poor care and demeaning attitudes of Public Service officials towards persons with disabilities, his department has any collaborative programmes in place with BlindSA to provide sensitivity training to Public Service staff at government service offices in order to address issues of stigmatisation and ensure that all South Africans receive equal and adequate assistance from government officials; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
The unprofessional behaviour and conduct of Public Service officials towards persons with disabilities is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. The Bill of Rights protect our vulnerable citizens and public service officials are required to act in ways that uphold the dignity and humanity of all our citizens.
The Disability Rights Awareness Month (DRAM) 2022, was launched by the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities on 3 November 2022. The theme for this year’s DRAM is titled “Empowering Persons with Disabilities through resourceful, sustainable and safe environments”. Government’s Disability Rights Awareness Campaign is part of the 365 days Calendar on disabilities to create more awareness about the disabilities, showcase gaps and challenges that are experienced in delivery of services for persons with disabilities, showcase inroads and achievements made to date by government in line with the MTSF priorities and forge further partnerships between persons with and without disabilities to support the social cohesion towards realization of disability inclusion in all our programs and all aspects of society.
The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities and the National School of Government signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Disability Inclusion Training for public servants, on 3 November 2022. This training is aimed at empowering public servants in ensuring disability inclusion in their programmes and services of their departments.
The National School of Government has several training programmes in place to build awareness of these issues in public service officials. The compulsory programmes such as the “Championing Anti-discrimination in the Public Service”. The NSG has partnered with the UNFPA on “Achieving Disability Inclusiveness through Universal Access and Reasonable Accommodation” course. Furthermore, it offers “Know your Constitution” and “Ethics in the Public Service” as free courses. The NSG uses the specialised services to develop training materials that are accessible to officials who have barriers to learning.