Strengthening South Africa’s Public Sector Harassment Policy Development Blog

20 November, 2023

The Strengthening Ethics and Integrity in South Africa Project (SEIP) is managed by Cowater International and funded by Global Affairs Canada (High Commission of Canada in South Africa). The project aims to increase the accountability, efficiency and transparency of the South African government in delivering gender-responsive services to the public. The project provides technical assistance to support the South African Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) in the design and operationalisation of a new specialised unit – the Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit (PAEIDTAU).

Through the SEIP project, Cowater International supports the revision of the ‘Policy and Procedure on the Management of Sexual Harassment in the Public Service’ (PPMSH) to align with ILO Convention No. 190 (ILO C190) on Violence and Harassment, ratified by South Africa in November 2021; and to include the multiple forms of harassment and violence that occur in the workplace. This follows the Department of Employment and Labour’s amendment the Code of Good Practice on handling sexual harassment cases in the workplace of 2005 and replaced it with the Code of Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the Workplace which was gazetted in March 2022.

On 7 November 2023, the DPSA’s Transformation Directorate (supported by SEIP) conducted an event to consult key stakeholders on a draft of the revised policy. Participants included representatives from the DPSA’s Discipline Management, Negotiations and Dispute Management, Internal Transformation Programmes, Internal Employee Health and Wellness, Work Environment Management, Employee Benefits, United Nations Development Programme, Department of Public Works, and the Department of Higher Education.

Feedback from this, and prior consultation sessions, will be used to amend the policy. The revised policy will be presented to stakeholders for review, following which it will be submitted for approval.

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