Limpopo government 'merely paying lip service', failing to meet own disability targets

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha
Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha
Daily Sun
  • The Limpopo government has been criticised for a lack of commitment to its own targets for people living with disabilities.
  • The legislature's standing committee on quality of life perused quarterly reports this week, which showed slow progress on the matter.
  • Premier Stan Mathabatha has instructed all MECs to ensure set targets are met and become part of their service level agreements.

The Limpopo government has come under fire for flouting its own commitment to employing 2% of people living with disabilities in each of the 11 departments in the province.

The quarterly reports for the legislature's standing committee on quality of life, the status of women, children, youth, older persons and people with disabilities show only three of the 11 departments have so far met the target.

The reports also came under scrutiny in the legislature this week, where it was also shown there was a 39.8% backlog for people living with disabilities to receive assistive devices such as wheelchairs, spectacles, hearing aids and crutches.

It was also found that more than 2 100 people could not access their disability grants.

ALSO READ | Dating and Disability: 'I often wonder if my disability has been the cause of men rejecting me'

The preferential procurement target to economically empower disabled people was set at 7%, but only 0.19% has been achieved so far.

There was a huge vacancy rate at schools for persons with special needs, with 228 positions still to be filled.

Schools also had dilapidated infrastructure. 

The DA in Limpopo has since called on Premier Stan Mathabatha to intervene and insist all backlogs be cleared and targets met "so that persons with disabilities in our province can enjoy an enhanced quality of life".

The party's Katlego Phala said it was sad that disabled people could not access assistive devices, whereas there was underspending on the programme by the Department of Health.

Phala added: 

The government is failing vulnerable persons living with disabilities and that this [standing] committee is merely paying lip service to the lack of implementation of programmes.

However, provincial government spokesperson Ndavhe Ramakuela said the departments complying with the 2% overall employment target of disabled persons have improved from three, to four.

"The premier has mandated all MECs to ensure compliance to the EE (employment equity) targets and that they should become part of their service level agreements," Ramakuela said. 

Ramakuela added that Mathabatha had established a special programme unit to assist disabled people in accessing economic opportunities.

"Lack of capacity and capital injection to support the sector to access a bigger stake of the provincial spend on goods and services is still a challenge. [The] National Youth Development Agency has been approached through their youth trust to assist young entrepreneurs with disabilities," he said.

On special schools and lack of assistive devices, Ramakuela added that the education department had been allocated funding to fill the 228 posts.

"The provisioning of assistive devices involves the assessment of clients, determining the most appropriate assistive device to be provided..." he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 499 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 6154 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
11% - 809 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.