South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged to ensure that Persons With Disabilities in the country get involved in conceptualizing, developing, implementing and monitoring economic development policies and programmes.
“We are determined to correct and to ensure that we intensify the work that must be done to advance the rights and improve the circumstances of persons with disabilities,” he said.
Speaking at the Summit on Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, held in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, President Ramaphosa stated that the society is not only responsible in protecting persons with disabilities but also should ensure they realize their full potential to enable them live comfortably.
The two-day summit, held on 7 and 8 December 2022, and hosted by the Department of Women, Youth and Persons With Disabilities covered barriers in the economic landscape hindering persons with disabilities to access markets and funding – celebrating persons with disabilities in business to share experiences that inspire others.
According to Ramaphosa, the summit offered a platform to discuss ways of advancing economic justice, creating opportunities for all people to achieve financial independence and reducing income inequality in the country.
Further in his address, he called upon all social partners and participants in the summit to work together to achieve certain outcomes, which include the prohibition of discrimination based on disability across the employment value chain, and that persons with disabilities have equal access to just and favorable conditions of work.
President Ramaphosa observed that since the location of responsibility for the rights of persons with disabilities was transferred from the Department of Social Development to the Presidency, there has been important progress to address these deficiencies.
He also noted that in a bid to improve self-representation in decision-making, the South African government has created a consultative platform through the National Disability Rights Machinery, provincial disability forums, and representation in local government