Thank you very much, Deputy Speaker. Hon Minister, with regard to your international obligations, which you have just mentioned, how many of the articles that form part of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which we are signatories to, are we actually fully complying with?
I say this because a brief look at, for example, Article 9 will show that it states that the state shall take appropriate measures to "provide in buildings ... open to the public signage in Braille" - we certainly don't fully comply with that everywhere - and to provide forms of assistance, guides, and sign language interpreters at state facilities. We certainly don't comply with that. Many deaf people can't access government services.
This then raises the question, hon Minister: Are taxpayers getting value for the R9,9 million which is spent on travel, for example, to report on developments for disabled communities? And by when do you think we will be able to fully comply with all the charters in this UN Convention? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Hon Deputy Speaker, I want to emphasise that very little of this budget was spent on international travel. Most of the budget was spent here in South Africa.
Secondly, a lot has been done by the ANC government to ensure that we train sign language interpreters, that we have Braille material and that our buildings are accessible. The Minister of Public Works has a special budget that ensures that we implement the UN convention and comply with accessibility in government buildings.
Our municipalities have also started with this. We know that the municipal buses and buildings in eThekwini, for instance, are accessible. The Rea Vaya bus system in Johannesburg is accessible. The Gautrain in Gauteng is also accessible. I am not saying we have done everything. We have started, yes, but a lot more needs to be done.
We also commend the Minister of Basic Education who published the sign language curriculum now in 2013, and it will be introduced in our schools next year. That means we will have more sign language interpreters who can go to our courts, clinics and hospitals to ensure that deaf people have access to government services.
Production of Braille learning materials has also been accomplished in 2013. We also have the universal access to early childhood development programme, through Social Development, that I referred to. The Minister of Higher Education and Training is also ensuring that students with disabilities have access to FET colleges and higher learning. I thank you, hon Deputy Speaker.
Proposed steps against municipal managers and senior managers who have not obtained necessary qualifications
299. Mr J H Steenhuisen (DA) asked the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
What steps does he intend to take against (a) municipal managers and (b) senior managers who have not met the 1 January 2013 deadline, or the extension, to obtain the necessary qualifications as set out in Treasury Circular 60?