Public service eyes childcare options

2013-05-20 22:05
Lindiwe Sisulu

Lindiwe Sisulu

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Johannesburg - The public service is examining the option of providing childcare facilities for its employees, Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Monday.

"We have decided that the state is responsible for your child," said Sisulu to a woman who complained that she had been asked about her childcare arrangements during a job interview.

The woman had lamented that men were usually not asked this question.

"We are going to, in time, ensure that the state provides the necessary childcare facilities," she said.

Sisulu was speaking at a briefing with academics on the imminent launch of the "School of Government", which aims to provide training for new public servants, and retrain existing ones to increase professionalism.

"We are looking at the possibility of giving a grant to women with children, to pay their child-minders while their mother is at work," she said.

Sisulu said the responsibility of raising children was as important to the country as to mothers, who inevitably took on the bulk of these duties.

"There is a gap between 14:00 and 16:00, when school finishes and mothers get home, and who looks after the children during that gap?" she asked.

The decision was also out of concern for the safety of children who were left alone while their mothers were working.

Mothers were disadvantaged, because to work and be economically active, they lost a part of their salary to child care.

Childcare facilities were being provided at some Sector Education and Training Authorities.

If this was a success - for the department and for the mothers - it might be introduced elsewhere in the public service, Sisulu said.

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