Government needs to explore avenues to accommodate people with disabilities

8 December 2021

ERMELO – She said innovative ideas should be put in place to make sure that government buildings are easily accessible for people with disabilities. Shiba was addressing the department’s staff who attended a Phepha Msebenzi and Disability Rights Awareness gathering in Ermelo in the Msukaligwa Local Municipality last Thursday.

Phepha Msebenzi and Disability Right Awareness aims to address issues of safety of employees at work, and that people with disabilities are recognised. “With this department having only 21 permanent and five contracted staff living with disabilities, there is still a long way to meet the set target of employing 2%, as per the Employment Equity legislation, and this is a concern.

“Something innovative must be done, especially with the old government buildings, because they were never built with people with disabilities in mind,” said Shiba.

Her comments came after Disabled People of South Africa chairperson, Doctor Mayisela, took a swipe at government during the same event, accusing it of being unable to meet its own targets regarding improving the conditions for people living with disabilities, including employing them.


Mayisela said the few government employees living with disabilities struggle with accessibility in most government buildings, because they do not accommodate their needs.

“Government needs to speed up its transformation process and address these issues, including employing people with disabilities not for the sake of meeting targets, but hiring them into management positions as well,” said Mayisela.

This year’s tricameral Phepha Msebenzi also focused on issues of gender-based violence as it fell within the 16 Days of Activism Against the Abuse of Women and Children, the rights of people with disabilities and the general wellness of employees in the workplace. It was held under the theme, “Prioritising the health and safety of all employees in the workplace, disability rights awareness, committing to the protection of women and children in our society”.

Shiba called on everyone to be a GBV and femicide activist, to help fight against the scourge. The event was also attended by the head of department, Mfana Chunda, and newly elected executive mayor of Msukaligwa Local Municipality, Cllr Agnes Mahlalela.

Source: Lowvelder at