Dept to enforce 2% disability target

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pretoria - The department responsible for people with disabilities says it will this year ensure that all employers attain the two percent employment target for persons with disabilities.

"It's a non-negotiable target; we need to move faster than we did before and ensure that the implementation of the laws and policies are in place," warned Minister for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya.

She said the department was in the process of developing a strategy that should move the country towards achieving the 2 percent target.

The strategy will include the development of tools that will assist government to increase recruitment of persons with disabilities.

"We will ensure to get private sector and other forums on board to ensure that this issue is taken seriously. We must move beyond theoretical and be practical and working together with other departments, this target can be reached so that we can set another target - maybe five percent beyond 2014," Mayende-Sibiya said on Thursday.

A concerned Mayende-Sibiya also noted that most people living with disabilities still struggle to gain access to buildings.

"The question of access to buildings is an important issue for us, how many buildings are accessible for people with disabilities?

"During the 2010 World Cup, there would be park-and-ride and how do you see a person in a wheelchair going to the stadium from the park-and-ride, there should be a special kind of plan for people with disability to access stadiums without hindrance and be allowed to drive straight or walk to the stadiums," she said, adding that the department will have an interaction with the LOC to address the issue of access.

Regarding the role of the department, Mayende-Sibiya said interventions will ensure that government's effort to measure and monitor service delivery includes clear indicators relating to the three marginalised groups of society.

The department has identified key flagship programmes for this term. Some of the projects include rural development for the economic empowerment for women and persons with disabilities, establishment of women's empowerment fund and action to guarantee that government attains 50/50 gender parity.

The programmes will be outlined during the department's Budget Vote on 16 April 2010.