1 November 2013
Government encourages all citizens to observe disability month from 03 November - 03 December 2013 under the United Nations theme “Break Barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all”.
Following South Africa’s attainment of democracy, Government realised the disparities faced by people with disabilities and has since advanced the equalisation of opportunities. The Constitution ensures that every South African with a disability has the right to life without discrimination and be treated as an equal citizen.
Acting GCIS CEO, Phumla Williams said, “Over the past 19 years, representation of people with disabilities has increased in various decision-making bodies such as Parliament, government, the judiciary, and the boards of different institutions and councils. As South Africa gears towards the celebration of 20 Years of Freedom, Government calls on all sectors of society to play a meaningful role in supporting the equalization of opportunities and break physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers that people with disabilities face.”
Government has made great strides in providing services to people with disabilities, which include, amongst others, a disability grant for adults and grant to assist families who have children with special needs. This year alone, 1.1 million people in South Africa accessed disability grants, which constitute the third largest group of social grant beneficiaries.
In addition to government services, selected textbooks and the government newspaper, Vuk'uzenzele, which keeps the public abreast of government programmes and projects, are produced in braille
“The observance of this month provides an opportunity to further raise awareness of disability and to realize the equal participation of persons with disabilities in society. Let’s celebrate the lives of people with disabilities and the contributions that they have made to the country. ” said Williams.
Activities of Disability Month can be accessed on www.gov.za
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)