Pretoria - The Department of Public Works (DPW) has launched the Disability Advisory Council, which aims to provide leadership and advice to the department on a number of issues relating to disability.
The council was formed after Minister Thulas Nxesi had a consultative session with the disability sector in 2013.
Taking seriously the slogan ‘Nothing about us without us’, the Department of Public Works’ Disability Advisory Council has members from the Quad Para Association of South Africa (QASA), National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA), Deaf Federation of South Africa (DeafSA), Autism South Africa, South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB) and Disabled People South Africa (DPSA).
Launching the council on Tuesday, Minister Nxesi called on employers, including government, to deal with the barriers that hinder people with disabilities from working.
“Many people with disabilities want to work but there are barriers,” he said, adding that there is a need for more people with disabilities in the work place.
Minister Nxesi said his department has a duty to employ people with disabilities. “Having more people with disabilities is good news for the country,” he said.
Minister Nxesi called on members of the public to support people with disabilities. He said his department should be an example in terms of implementation.
The chairperson of the Advisory Council, Mzwandile Sibiya Ka-Mfishi, said he would like to see more disabled people taking part in the economy.
“It is time for disabled people to stand together and fight for their rights. We are here to be recognised,” he said.
Other organisations represented in the council include Epilepsy South Africa, South African Federation of Mental Health (SAFMH), Blind South Africa, Albinism Society South Africa, Disability Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), South African National Deaf Association (SANDA), Entrepreneurs with Disability Forum and the Women’s Achievement Network for Disability (WAND). – SAnews.gov.za