More needs to be done to assist people with disabilities

As the world commemorates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities today (3 December) more needs to be done to assist those with disabilities in the Eastern Cape.

There are close to 300 000 people with disabilities in the Eastern Cape according to STATS SA Household Survey. The third highest number in the country.

Not only are people with disabilities being excluded from job opportunities across the province, but they are being denied access to day to day services by an uncaring Government that has given little to no thought about providing access to people who are differently-abled.

The Department of Social Development, the mandated champion and custodian of rights for people with disabilities, has yet again failed to meet their disability employment target of just 2%.

According to the Department’s annual report, only 1.5% of their staff compliment, less than 100 people, are people with disabilities.

I have written a letter to the MEC for Social Development, Dr Pumza Dyantyi, informing her that I require a detailed explanation as to what she will de doing to ensure that the Departments disability target is met.

Many of the Department’s buildings have not been designed or built to be disability friendly for employees or the public at large.

The Democratic Alliance wants to encourage government, businesses and private individuals to embrace people with disabilities and find ways to include them. Something as simple as providing wheelchair access to premises goes a long way to making services more accessible.

A DA-led government will work with organisations to identify and overcome common challenges facing persons with disabilities.

The Democratic Alliance is committed to creating one South Africa for all, where people are not discriminated against and excluded, simply because they differently-abled.