Article by Khanyi Moshia
Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane urges every South African citizen to contribute towards ensuring heightened care and access to information for people living with disabilities.
The government wants the public to remember that people living with disabilities are amongst those who are vulnerable to the negative impact of the Coronavirus, especially during the national lockdown.
People and children living with disabilities, the elderly and those in frail care often find themselves excluded from normal societal activities during the best of times, and during this difficult time of the national lockdown, they face increased isolation through their physical conditions as well as a lack of access to information.
To ensure that the above mentioned groups and their families continue to receive services during the national lockdown – community based facilities, care centers and residential facilities will remain open as they also form part of the essential services to be rendered.
It is thus, our responsibility as society to ensure that the correct information on Covid-19 is made available in accessible formats in order to cater for the needs of the vulnerable.
In conclusion, the government urges citizens to:
- work together to combat the stereotypes, harmful practices and prejudices towards people living with disabilities.
- Support, promote, protect and advocate the rights of people living with disabilities in our areas of influence.
- Remember that caregivers of people living with disabilities are essential service workers.
- Know that with special needs will continue to be allowed to leave their homes for essential tasks.
- Allow the standard practices on people with visual impairments to apply
- Allow relevant government departments to support people with disabilities in obtaining food and other essential services.
- Provide support for the elderly and people living with disabilities by establishing exclusive hours to buy necessities.
The government encourages all South Africans to show increased care and support for all vulnerable groups within our society during the national lockdown period.