JOHANNESBURG – The Home Affairs Department says it wants to prioritise sensitivity training among its officials to improve the quality of services given to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex(LGBTI) people.
Today, Minister Malusi Gigaba held a meeting with gay rights activists and the South African Human Rights Commission to discuss upholding the human rights of marginalised groups.
Since the appointment of a task team earlier this year, Gigaba says there has been positive progress in the handling of LGBTI issues at Home Affairs offices.
Minister Gigaba says staff attitudes must be addressed as they can affect the services provided to LGBTI people.
“Stop asking stupid questions when people come to get married, you ask them ‘How do you know you are not a man, how do you know you are not a woman?’ Who are you to be asking that question?"
He says the department will enforce sensitivity training so that more officers will become properly equipped to handle matters specific to LGBTI people.
"So that people can be provided with relevant information without being prejudged by anyone."
During the last financial year 407 home affairs employees received sensitivity training – a number the department wants to see increase.
Written by: Dineo Bendile for Eyewitness News on the 6th September 2016
(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)