Empowering Persons with Disabilities: A Milestone at Cape Town Society for the Blind

The Cape Town Society received a boost yesterday as the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, and the Turkish Ambassador, Ayşegül Kandaş Ayşegül, delivered an official handover of a renovated basket workshop through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).
0
55

The Cape Town Society for the Blind received a boost yesterday as the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, and the Turkish Ambassador, Ayşegül Kandaş Ayşegül, delivered a renovated basket workshop through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

Minister Zulu expressed her gratitude to TIKA and the Ambassador for partaking in this noble cause. The renovated workshop stands as a testament to their dedication to empowering persons with disabilities, and providing them with opportunities to earn a livelihood.

“I would like to express my deep appreciation to you Ambassador Kandaş and TIKA for supporting this initiative that is dedicated to empowering persons with disabilities to earn a living,” Minister Zulu stated.

The Cape Town Society for the Blind, supported by the National Development Agency (NDA) from 2020 to 2023, has been a beacon of hope for those with visual impairments. Minister Zulu underscored the importance of creating conducive working conditions, fostering independence, equal opportunities, and full participation in community life for persons with disabilities. She emphasised the government’s commitment to ensuring their complete integration into society on an equal footing with others.

“Persons with disabilities have the right to have good conditions in the workplace, to live independently, to equal opportunities, and to participate fully in the life of their community,” Minister Zulu asserted. “All have a right to a life without barriers. And it is our obligation, as the government, to ensure their full participation in society, on an equal basis with others.”

The event celebrated TIKA’s commendable efforts in advancing the shared goal of meeting the needs of persons with disabilities and building an inclusive society. Minister Zulu highlighted the saying, “Nothing about us, without us,” emphasising the vital role of persons with disabilities in informing strategies and decisions related to disability inclusion.

The Department of Social Development (DSD) and its entities, including the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the NDA, play a pivotal role in providing services aimed at uplifting vulnerable populations. Minister Zulu disclosed that public consultations on the Policy on Social Development Services to Persons with Disabilities have recently concluded. This policy seeks to mainstream disability issues in all programs to enhance the lives of persons with disabilities qualitatively. Minister Zulu expressed her desire to finalise the policy before the end of the current administration.

“Through this Policy, the DSD Portfolio is responsible for the provision of social development services to persons with disabilities through addressing the following priorities,” Minister Zulu highlighted.

The minister underscored South Africa’s social assistance program designed to address the challenges faced by persons with disabilities throughout their lives. The Care Dependency Grant, Disability Grant, and Old Age Pension cater to different age groups, and the Grant-in-Aid supports caregivers in providing care and support.

Minister Zulu highlighted ongoing improvements in the application process for disability-related social grants. The department utilises a Harmonised Assessment Tool for the Disability Grant, emphasising transparency and trust in decision-making. Last year, an online application and booking system were introduced, allowing persons with disabilities to apply from the comfort of their homes.

“As Government, and in particular the DSD Portfolio, we need the support of partners like TIKA to ensure that persons with disabilities live fulfilling and independent lives,” Minister Zulu stressed. “Only by working together in close partnership can we enhance that persons with disabilities are not left behind.”

In conclusion, Minister Zulu expressed her gratitude to all stakeholders for their support in making the Cape Town Society for the Blind a success story. She emphasised the significance of partnerships with organisations like TIKA in ensuring that persons with disabilities lead fulfilling and independent lives. The event showcased the power of collaboration in advancing the cause of inclusivity and moving South Africa forward.

The Cape Town Society has been supported by the NDA during the 3 financial years.

Leave a reply