Cape Town - People with disabilities should actively and meaningfully be engaged in economic activities and the overall economic growth of the country, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Speaking at an event to mark the Commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities held in Cape Town today, Motlanthe urged all role players to mainstream issues of disability and fully implement disability related policies in all aspects of life.
"In the next five years, we must ensure that persons with disabilities are beneficiaries and equal partners in all our programmes to halve unemployment and poverty," he said.
"We acknowledge that the active participation and contribution of all sectors of our society, including persons with disability, is crucial to assist government to achieve this goal," he said, adding that government hoped to achieve its employment equity target of two percent by 2014.
"We need to advance the cause of persons with disabilities throughout the continent and play our role as hosts of the African Decade Secretariat."
This year's theme is "Making the Millennium Development Goals Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world".
The day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the inclusion of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life.
About 10 percent of the world's population, or 650 million people, live with disabilities.