Finance Minister Trevor Manuel is today launching an innovative joint project between the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB) that is aimed at preparing blind people for the job market and SARS in particular. The partnership is part of SARS' social responsibility programme.
SARS Commissioner Pravin Gordhan said the partnership was aimed at promoting SARS' employment equity objective and rolling out its social responsibility strategy.
The project will see SARS contributing R1-million to the training of ten blind students as call centre agents. Upon completion, the students will be employed by SARS as call centre agents.
"We want to be a progressive revenue service that does more than just raise revenue for the fiscus and protect the country's economy," said Gordhan.
"We want to be a revenue service that is committed to making a difference through its commitment to social responsibility and empowerment."
As part of its service delivery, SARS will embark on a nationwide awareness campaign to educate its employees on working with disabled persons and people with special needs. SARS will also help the SANCB technically.
"We have undertaken to provide technical support services to SANCB according to need and subject our capacity," says Gordhan.
A research study recently undertaken by the SANCB revealed that disabled people are the least employed group in the country with a rate of 0,28% in the corporate world.
As part of the agreement, the SANCB will be advising SARS in sourcing blind professionals for possible employment in other areas of business in SARS.
SANCB executive director Dr William Rowland said: "This is a major step in providing visually disabled people with access to more employment opportunities and we are proud to be partners in this innovative venture."
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE