Skills development programme for disabled people in KwaZulu-Natal
13 Oct 2011
Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Ms Lulu Xingwana, Minister for Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini and Deputy Minister of Public Works Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu today visited a skills development centre in Illovu south of Durban that has been earmarked for training of local people with disabilities in Durban.
Operations at the Illovu Development Centre are to be increased to full capacity by addition of the skills training programme for people with disabilities at the centre at a cost of about R2 million per annum. The centre provides a number of training programmes including poultry farming, catering, flowering and decorations, advanced sewing, computer and business management skills.
It also has residential accommodation for up to 40 people which is ideal for disabled people movement impairment.
Minister Xingwana said the centre is currently underutilised and has been identified as a legacy project for the hosting of the 8th World Assembly of Disabled People’s International which ends today at the Durban ICC.
“Our interaction with people with disabilities has identified a critical need for skills development to bring about economic empowerment. This centre will enable disabled people of KwaZulu-Natal to acquire skills to run their own cooperatives, businesses or be employed,” said Minister Xingwana.
Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu – who also has a disability - said the Department of Public Works will immediately assess and provide renovation requirements to enable the centre to accommodate and train a maximum number of people with disabilities. She said the skills acquired at the centre, including HIV and Home-Based Care training, will enable people with disabilities to participate more effectively in the Expanded Public Works Programme.
Minister Dlamini said Social Development will attend to the staffing needs to ensure that the centre meets the demand of increased intake of disabled trainees. She urged people with disabilities to stand up for their rights and work with government towards the realisation of these rights.
Disabled People South Africa (DBSA) welcomed the initiative saying economic empowerment of people with disabilities is the priority of the organisation and has been one of the key focus areas at the 8th World Assembly.
DPSA Chairperson in KZN Mr Philip Gamede said the organisation has always wanted a skills development programme focusing particularly on youth with disabilities to enhance their opportunities for economic development.
“We are very excited that these Government Departments are responding positively to what we have proposed that we have a skills training programme for people with disabilities. We would like to add other training programmes to increase the variety of skills that people with disabilities can get from this centre,” said Gamede.
Issued by: Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
13 Oct 2011
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