Pretoria, 17 March 2009 – Tailored to create and avail resources aimed at removing barriers and establishing appropriate structures for the mainstreaming of disability issues in South Africa, the Disability Friendly Service Delivery Booklet, will be launched by the Minister for Provincial and Local Government, Sicelo Shiceka, on Tuesday 17th March. With the Framework’s mandate extracted from the National Disability Framework that was led by the Presidency, the Minister in the Presidency, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang will take a lead in outlining the issues raised at the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and what is expected from the South African Government in relation to disability mainstreaming.
The launch follows after months of consultative processes and research by the Department of Provincial and Local Government in partnership with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).
As part of the consultative processes, in 2008 provinces of the Western Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Kwazulu Natal and the Northern Cape embarked on an awareness campaign to profile and raise awareness on disability issues. Plans are now in place for the 2009/10 financial budget to include funding aimed at addressing challenges faced by other Provinces with systems and capacity to aid the disabled.
“Engagements and consultative processes with the disabled will continue to form part of the Department’s strategy in dealing with this issue. We cannot serve the disabled if we do not know what they need from Government. The disabled therefore, will also need to play a leadership role in these processes so that Government can fully appreciate the slogan of the disabled particularly in this context: ‘nothing about us without us’, says Minister Shiceka.
The Disability Framework places a responsibility on all role players in the local government sector to act decisively in their respective functions to advance the cause of disability mainstreaming to promote the rights of the disabled.
“So far the response from Provincial Government and municipalities has been quite positive with some of the municipalities even seeking guidance from organizations representing the disabled for sensitising staff and participating in publicity campaigns on disability. One such campaign is ‘Bring a disabled person to work’, says the Minister.
The framework follows on the development of the National Disability Framework done by the Presidency which provides broad guidelines adapted to provide role players within the Local sphere of government with a context specifically aimed at mainstreaming issues of disability.
While the launch is a summation of a number of projects that Government has been involved in such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled persons, it also paves the way to develop and implement targeted interventions that would benefit the disabled.
As a signatory to the Convention, South Africa is obliged to adopt legislation and policy measures that will eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities, while simultaneously promoting their rights. The Framework sets a four per cent a target for the representation of people with disabilities within the Municipal workforce.
The launch will take place at the Velmor Hotel in Pretoria, and as part of the programme for the day, a disability aids expo aimed at showcasing disability aids and an exhibition of products made by people with disabilities.
Issued on behalf of the Ministry for Provincial and Local Government.
To get more information or request interviews with the Minister, please contact:
Vuyelwa Qinga Vika (Ms)
Media Liaison Officer: Minister for Provincial and Local Government
Cell: 082 877 3898 : OR Lorato Gomolemo – 072 217 4259
Phone: 012 334 0995 E-mail: \n