ACCESSIBILITY and transportation for disabled people in the Northern Cape need to be given serious attention.
This was highlighted by Tshaka Moloi, the chairperson of Disabled People of South Africa (DBSA) in the Northern Cape when he handed over the memorandum of concerns to the MEC of Social Development, Mxolisi Sokatsha, on Thursday (03/12).
Disabled people from different districts participated in the pride disability parade.
This took place in celebration of the National Day of Persons with Disabilities in Kimberley.
The parade was concluded at the premier’s office.
They used the parade to promote awareness and understanding of issues of disability and to strengthen the mainstreaming of disability into the programmes of municipalities and government departments.
Moloi said the fact that disabled people still faced challenges of accessibility to transportation, was the reason why they continued to be late at work and seemed unreliable.
“We still experience challenges of being ignored by public transport where drivers complain that they are running late.”
On behalf of the premier, Sylvia Lucas, Sokatsha gave the assurance that their grievances would get the highest attention by the provincial administration.
Elaborating on mobility, Moloi emphasised that it meant: “Going where and when one wants to travel to, being informed about services, knowing how to use them, being able to use them and having the means to pay for them.”
According to Moloi, wheelchair-bound people are the most vulnerable as there are not enough space to accommodate them in normal taxis.
He emphasised that government had to ensure that all models of transport were accessible to persons with disabilities.
“Public and private transport systems must be designed and refitted to enable persons with disabilities to utilise the entire transport chain without borders.”
He further highlighted that persons with disabilities and their families were not consulted and actively involved through organisations in the design, implementation and monitoring of all programmes and policies that could impact their lives.
Sokatsha explained that the job access strategic framework was there to monitor the mainstreaming of disabilities within government’s policies, plans, projects and budget.
“The departments are required to submit the progress regarding the implementation of the framework to the premier’s office for analysis.
“After analysing the report, the premier’s office will identify disability service delivery gaps and make recommendations to the accounting officer,” added Sokatsha.
Other concerns that were raised, included unemployment, infrastructure, governance and political participation, economic empowerment and funding allocation.