The white paper was approved by the government on the rights of persons with disabilities in December 2015, and therefore it was declared that as of the 3rd of November to the 3rd of December annually; it shall be commemorated as Disability Rights Awareness Month. “We are gathered here today to officially launch the Disability Rights Awareness Month programme of action for 2018, under the theme: A disability-inclusive South Africa by 2030; be the legacy!” said Busisiwe Shiba, the MEC for Social Development in the province.
“The National Development Plan’s objectives incorporate the obligations contained in the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. It advocates that conscious and specific measures be taken to remove barriers and foster equitable access by all persons with disabilities to budgets, services and opportunities, and plays the responsibility for disability inclusion.” the MEC added.
“It is based on the following strategic pillars; removing barriers to access and participation, protecting the rights of persons at risk of compounded marginalization, supporting sustainable integrated community life, supporting and encouraging the empowerment of children, women, youth and persons with disabilities, reducing economic vulnerability and releasing human capital, strengthening a representative voice of persons with disabilities, building a disability equitable state machinery, promoting international cooperation, monitoring and evaluation. The policy directives under each of the nine strategic pillars task duty bearers with the responsibility of eradicating the persistent systematic discrimination and exclusion experienced by people with disabilities.” The MEC continued.
The MEC went on to mention that the social development department has strategies in place in order to raise awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities within the province in terms of an outlined programme of events until the fourth of November. On the 8th of this month, 50 people with disabilities will be provided with gardening equipment and services under the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Other events will also take place in Bushbuckridge.