DISABLED POPLE SOUTH AFRICA: PUBLIC HEARINGS ON YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT: NATIONAL PARLIAMENT, CAPE TOWN

PRESENTED BY GILLIAN BURROWS


2 JUNE 2006


DPSA: Where do we come from?


Our Mandate: "Ensure development and integration of disabled people into all spheres of life in South Africa"


Our Vision:
"A South Africa accessible to all"


Our Mission:
To be an effective and efficient democratic national assembly of all persons with disabilities which mobilises us to advocate for our rights for the attainment of equal opportunity in an integrated social, political and economic environment


Our Slogan:
"Nothing about us without us"


SUCCESS INDICATORS (ADVOCACY, LOBBYING AND NETWORKING)

(ADVOCACY, LOBBYING AND NETWORKING)

 

         INDS

 

         Self-Representation (National Assembly, provincial legislature, local government and statutory bodies eg. Youth Commission)

 

         Youth Learnerships

 

         Employment Equity Act (Code of Good Practice & Technical Assistant Guide)

 

         Labour Relations Act

 

         Skills Development Act


YOUTH -DEVELOPMENT

We shall ensure that the focus on youth development is intensified in all spheres of government as an integral part of our National Effort:

 

         Set up 100 new youth advisory centres

 

         Enrol at least 10 000 young people in the National Youth Service Programme

 

         Enrol 5 000 volunteers to '"act as mentors to vulnerable children

 

         Expand the reach of our business support system to young people '

 

         Intensify the Youth Co-operatives Programme

 

         Monitor our programmes on youth skills training and business empowerment


DISABILITY TAG

Provides guidelines on the employment of people with disabilities by using best practices and examples.


BACKGROUND

         EE reports of 2000 revealed that disability constituted 0.9% of workforce (Both large & small employers ).

 

         EE reports of 2003 revealed that disability constituted 1 .35% of workforce (only large employers).


Legislative context'

 

         Code of Good Practice on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Disability Code);

 

         Technical Assistance Guidelines on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Disability TAG);

 

         The White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service [1994] and

 

         National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS 2001 - 2005)


Disability Code


Unpacks key elements of the EEA regarding the elimination of unfair discrimination and affirmative action principles in relation to the employment 'of people with disabilities.

 

Youth with Disabilities Employment Status

         Census 2001 records ,Prevalence of Disability in SA as 2 255 982 [5%] disabled people in the country

 

         Employed person with disabilities 37.2% % [Census :2001]


White Paper on the Transformation. of the Public Service [1994]

 

         The White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service [1994], which clearly sets out the government's intention that "within 10 years [2005], people with disabilities should comprise 2 percent of public service personnel"

 

         Based on the information submitted by national departments and provincial administrations for 797 750 employees in the public service, it was found that there are 2007 people with disabilities. This represents an average of 0.25%, which is nowhere near the 2% that needs to be achieved by 2005.


Youth Employment

 

         Youth For Work indicates that 700/0 of the youth in our country is unemployed

 

         Therefore one can- deduct only 30 % of the youth being unemployed


Scenario of Employment for Youth with Disabilities in SA

 

         There are no reliable official statistics on unemployment of youth with disabilities in the country

 

         Over 80% of people with disabilities are either unemployed or economically inactive.

 

         Assuming that there is consistency with the broad disability sector, it suffices to say that over 80% of youth with disabilities is unemployed

 

         The majority of people with disabilities employed is located below management positions '

 

         Often people- with disabilities are working in protective workshops or clerical positions.


Reality at grassroots level

 

         8 member organisations in Guguletu & Khayelitsha - 99 young people

 

         20 with matric

 

         14 were if1volved, in learnerships

 

         90 unemployed .

 

         9 employed


Factors, preventing persons with disabilities to access employment

 

         Lack of data on economically active youth with disabilities

 

         Lack of lifeskills amongst youth with disabilities

 

         Ignorance and attitudes of employers

 

         Inaccesible working environment.

 

         Exposure of disabled people in the world of work'

 

         High rate of illiteracy amongst disabled youth [30 % vs 15% has no schooling]


Recommendations

 

         Improve on gathering sufficient & quality of data on disability;

 

         Improve willingness of employers to comply;

 

         Establish link between skills development and EE on disability at workplace level;

 

         Increase momentum for Public Service to reach 2% target by the end of 2005;

 

         Introduction of innovative recruitment strategies;

 

         Change negative perceptions of employers on disability; and .

 

         Induce ownership, commitment & collective response;

 

         Sensitivity training of employers and disabled people about their rights


I THNAK YOU