Department meant to monitor disabled. Deliver jobs, not so much – Xingwana

2013-09-13 13:05

When it comes to helping the disabled, the mandate of the department of women, children and people with disabilities is to monitor and report, but not necessarily to deliver jobs, says its political head.

“The department ... is mandated to advocate for, and monitor and report on, the rights of persons with disabilities. (It) is not as such a service-delivery department,” Minister of Women, Children, and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana said in a written reply to a parliamentary question today.

She was responding to a question by DA MP Michael de Villiers on what action her department was taking this year to help people with disabilities find work and set up small businesses.

Xingwana’s reply comes a day after the release of government’s latest Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT), which scored her department 42nd out of 42 national departments for its management practices.

Among the performance areas of the department red flagged in the MPAT report is service delivery. The red flag indicates the department does not have “a service charter and service standards”.

Incongruously, the department was also red flagged for its “management of diversity”, meaning it did not submit mandatory reports on both gender equality and job access for disabled people.

In her written reply, Xingwana said that while the departments of labour and trade and industry were the ones mandated to help the disabled with jobs and business ventures, her own department had “extended its mandate on an ad hoc basis”.

This was being done through a “disability-rights mailing list”, which provided a platform for employers to advertise vacancies earmarked for people with disabilities.

Job seekers could register on the same site, she said.

Among the “strategic-outcome-orientated goals” listed on the department’s website is a commitment to “facilitate the empowerment of women, children, and people with disabilities for equitable access to public and private sector programmes and services”.

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