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South Africa: Interns to Boost Health Department’s Human Resources
Source: BuaNews
Source Date: Monday, June 11, 2012
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Country: South Africa
Created: Jun 11, 2012

The interns, who joined the department on 2 May, come from all over the country and have been grouped into three internship programmes, including financial management, human resources and information management.

Speaking at the official launch of the Support Internship Programme on Thursday, Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said most of the challenges provinces encountered were in the areas of financial management, procurement and human resources, and these were key in the running of any department.

The interns have been selected to provide additional assistance in the areas of asset management, revenue collection, supply chain management, PERSAL clean-up and information management, amongst others.

"All interns have undergone a capacity building programme for a period of a month. The aim was to skill them further prior to their deployments in the provinces," Motsoaledi explained.

The areas identified as key to their development include: an understanding of how the public service operates; financial management in the public sector; the use of human resource information in planning, and the district health information system.

The department is intending to avail 15 interns per category per province, where they will be deployed in provincial offices with effect from mid-June 2012 for a period of 12 months. They will get a stipend of R3 500 per month from EU funding.

An amount of R84 million has been allocated towards the programme, which will also include accommodation and transport.

EU Head of Development Cooperation, Richard Young, stressed the need to pay more attention especially to maternal and child mortality, non-communicable diseases as well as HIV and Aids.

"The programme [uses] young people to strengthen the health system... we shouldn't forget that you are going ... to help other people to have a better life ..." Young told the interns.

Last month, the department recruited 70 unemployed graduates with degrees and honours degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering to help in forensic toxicology, where there is a backlog.

Speaking to BuaNews, an elated intern, Kgopotso Shayi (27) from Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga, said she was going to work hard to try to learn more about how the department operates.

"Hopefully, my presence will bring change and help improve the health system in my province. We also thank the department for acknowledging our pain of being unemployed whilst we have qualifications and used our skills," said Shayi.
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