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Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities is an utter failure and has no raison d’être

(Budget vote debate in Parliament: Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities)

The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities is an utter failure and has no raison d'être.

If equal opportunities were a reality, there would be no need for such a Department.

In his recent report, the Auditor-General (AG) revealed shocking findings about this Department and its failure to perform its mandate.

The mission of the Department is to provide strategic leadership, coordination and oversight to government departments and the country in prioritising empowerment programmes on women, youth and persons with disabilities.

The ministry and the Department's main priority is to ensure that the socio-economic empowerment and rights of women, youth and persons with disabilities are given precedence in all sectors of society.

The AG indicated that the Department's targets are not well structured, not well verified, not well defined, and do not reflect the mandate of the Department.

One of the questions that arose during the recent budget process is, among other things, how the Department holds other government departments accountable for implementing the employment targets for women, youth and persons with disabilities.

The Department has 19 staff members who are each paid more that R1,2 million per annum (salary level 13-16), but budgets an additional R2,3 million for making use of consultants.

The sanitary dignity project needs urgent attention. According to statistics, at least three out of every ten girls miss up to seven days of school per month due to their period.

Yet the report on the implementation of the project that was tabled to the Committee is practically a rehash of the previous report from two years ago.

There has since been only one follow-up report while only two provinces submitted monitoring reports, and only after the Committee had paid an oversight visit.

This project is very controversial, especially in the Free State, and there are question marks hanging over the money that was allegedly spent on it.

This group of people will never experience true equality as long as this Department exists and the ANC, with its ideological approach to problems, is in power.

South Africa and its people, especially the marginalised, deserve better than the ANC government.



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