We have conducted a number of surveys to assess progress made with regard to the transformation of the Public Service to ensure gender equality and the 2% target of people with disabilities. The survey includes the following: that the department has established a human resource steering committee, consisting of the human resource officials from the department. The committee reviews the policy quarterly and assesses progress in implementation.
The survey, together with other surveys conducted by the department, shows that the results of the survey referred to above indicated that performance in the employment of people with disabilities in the Public Service between 2008 and 2011 improved as follows: in 2008, we were at 0,91%, in March 2009, we were at 0,20%, in March 2010, we were at 0,20% again, in March 2011 at 0,32%, and in March 2012 at 0,36%.
As at 30 June 2012, representation of people with disabilities was 0,37%. Of this number, 2 017, which is 40%, were females and the rest were males. In terms of the spread of this group, there were 77 at senior management service level, 194 at middle management and 4 716 at levels 1 to 9. Based on the above figures, it is evident that although government has not achieved the required 2% employment equity target for the employment of people with disabilities, considerable progress has been made in the employment of people with disabilities.
According to the 2011-12 report, the number of departments that have achieved the required 2% target has increased from the previous year and so has the number of those that have managed to achieve at least 1% of the required 2% target. Regarding achieving gender equality, we can report that the performance of the Public Service from 2008 to 2012 is as follows: December 2008 was 34,3%; March 2009 was 34,8%; 2010 was 36%; 2011 was 37% and 2012 is 31,1%. The trends above show that even though the required 50% target has not been achieved in terms of the representation of women at various levels of senior management service, there is considerable progress in this regard. The 2011-12 annual report shows that the number of the individual departments achieving the 50% and those between 30% and 40% has significantly improved.
Having painted this positive outlook, I wish to indicate that there are challenges experienced in transforming the Public Service on these particular issues, including that it has been observed that not all departments implement the strategic framework developed by the Department for the Public Service and Administration. It is this lack of implementation that contributes to the inability to achieve transformation in the Public Service.
For instance, the Department for the Public Service and Administration has developed tools, such as the JobACCESS Strategic Framework on the Recruitment, Employment and Retention of Persons with Disabilities in the Public Service and the Gender Equality Strategic Framework for the Public Service, to assist departments in creating an environment conducive to the employment of women and people with disabilities as part of the transformation process. The provision of reasonable accommodation and assistive devices for people with disabilities is still a challenge for some departments and public institutions. To address this challenge, the Department for the Public Service and Administration has developed a policy on a reasonable accommodation and assistive-devices programme, with a funding model that will assist departments in budgeting for this policy. This policy is also en route to Cabinet.
The stigma that continues to apply to people with disabilities and women in leadership remains another ongoing challenge in achieving transformation in the Public Service. A number of departments have developed advocacy and awareness-raising programmes to remove such barriers but more of these activities still need to be implemented. Further information on the transformation of the Public Service includes: Following the production of the 2010-2011 annual report, the Department for the Public Service and Administration singled out national and provincial departments that were below 30% in their representation of women in senior management service and less than 1% in their representation of people with disabilities for targeted intervention. The intervention consisted of the Department for the Public Service and Administration writing letters to the provincial departments through the offices of premiers, requesting that the departments provide the Department for the Public Service and Administration with targeted remedial plans as well as timeframes to address the underrepresentation of those targeted groups. The Department for the Public Service and Administration is monitoring departments closely in this regard.
The Department for the Public Service and Administration has developed the Public Service Women's Week as part of women's empowerment for gender equality in the Public Service. It includes the implementation of the 8- Principle Action Plan for Promoting Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality in the Public Service and places the responsibility for leading gender transformation on the heads of the department and the directors-general. Departments are required to report on this programme to the Department for the Public Service and Administration annually.
On disability, the Department for the Public Service and Administration, in partnership with the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy, Palama, developed an accredited training course on disability management, based on the JobACCESS Strategic Framework on the Recruitment, Employment and Retention of Persons with Disabilities in the Public Service. The purpose of this training course and framework, launched in 2009, is to provide officials with skills that contribute to the inclusion of the people with disabilities in the workplace and remove barriers that prevent their successful participation in the job market. Learners are trained in advocacy and awareness, raising the benefits of support and planning for diversity, with a special focus on disability. Learners are also equipped with knowledge on legal frameworks, codes of conduct, codes of good practice and manuals on the employment of people with disabilities. The first pilot training was done with the Department of Public Works and up to 544 officials have now been trained.
On gender, an accredited training course in gender mainstreaming in the Public Service was developed by Palama in 2008. The purpose of this training course is to provide officials with skills that would contribute to the mainstreaming of gender in all policy procedures, processes and projects in the Public Service. To date, 3 823 public officials have been trained. Of those trained, 31% were males and 69% were females. In terms of the breakdown regarding levels, 75% were from level 1 to 12, and 25% were from senior management services level. Thank you.