“There’s no such thing as a disabled person. Instead, the person happens to live with a disability. This means that, disability and all, there are things one can do whatever the challenges imposed.”
This was a strong message from Kiewit Mhlongo, Cape Winelands Branch Manager, at an event hosted by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) at Lwandle Community Hall on Tuesday.
Mhlongo told those present how Seda offers support to small businesses and assists them to register.
The day was intended to acknowledge persons living with disability, and several speakers shared their views.
“Seda believes people must be trained and need to know what it means to run a business,” Mhongo shared with those living with disabilities. “Opportunities are out there. People need to get out of the state of mind that says I am ‘disabled’. As Seda we are here to offer our support as individuals or as a group who are running a business and want to grow.”
Candace Vermaak of Change Ability told the gathering her organisation wanted to change the way people looked at those living with disability.
“We want to empower people living with disability by helping them acquire different skills,” she said. “This can be done through learnerships and volunteer work. Sometimes people living with disabilities are limited by the environment they find themselves in, but not because they are not skilled,” she said. She also shared important information when composing a CV.
Bulelwa Makeleni, a Seda business advisor, said the day was also about raising awareness that Seda was available to help those living with disabilities with their business.
“We know some people with disabilities have to look after their families and cannot only depend on the grant money,” she said.