Minister Xingwana calls for more action to empower people with disabilities
15 May 2012
Lulu Xingwana, Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD), has issued a strong reminder to government departments that they have less than twelve months left to meet their 2% target for the employment of people with disabilities. Xingwana was addressing a meeting of the National Disability Machinery in Pretoria today.
The 2% target was decided by Cabinet and all departments have an obligation to meet it by March 2013. “We dare not fail” the Minister said, adding. “We must see this as our collective responsibility and a national call to action,”.
The Minister also emphasised the critical need for government to do more to defend and protect people with disability. “The continuing abuse and discrimination of people with disabilities, as well as the recent incidents of horrific violence and sexual abuse against young children with disabilities, has moved some within our communities to frequently ask a serious question: Where is our government in the midst of all these, what is government doing to protect people with disabilities against abuse and discrimination?” Xingwana asked. She told the gathering that through practical work, government must show that they were determined to address the plight of people with disabilities.
She said that the work and programmes of government departments must be guided by the Freedom Charter, which proclaims that South Africa belongs to all - including disabled people. This proclamation is reiterated in the South African Constitution, which guarantees equality to all people of South Africa, Xingwana said.
The Minister was supported by her Deputy, Hendrietta Bogopane Zulu and the Deputy Minister of Police, Sotyu. The purpose of the gathering was to advance the implementation of the plans that seek to achieve the promotion and protection of the rights of people who are disabled in South Africa. Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu said a coordinated disability agenda for the year 2013 - 2014 across all spheres of government is a priority. “All spheres of government must have disability responsive plans and budgets in place for the 2013 - 2014 financial year”. The meeting continues and will end on Wednesday.
Cornelius Tanana Monama
Tel: 012 359 0224
Cell: 082 5784 063
Issued by: Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
15 May 2012
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