People with disabilities claim that they have been excluded from accessing opportunities offered by the Gauteng government.

This came to light during a meeting hosted by the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) with stakeholders representing people living with disabilities that was recently held in the Johannesburg City Hall.

The objective of the meeting was to inform stakeholders about DID’s achievement of the 2% target in terms of appointing people with disabilities to the department.

But instead concerns were raised about the lack of understanding and sensitivity on the part of government in dealing with people living with disabilities.

Stakeholders highlighted that some government facilities were not designed to accommodate people with disabilities.

Other issues raised at the meeting included allegations that people with disabilities were only offered low level jobs despite their skills.

Furthermore, they did not have access to the same training opportunities as abled-bodied individuals, while internships and learnerships for the disabled hardly ever resulted in full time employment.

In addition, people with disabilities claim that they do not have access to infrastructure and services in Gauteng.

It is clear that government lacks the sensitivity, expertise and resources to reasonably accommodate the disabled and mainstream them as far as possible.

The DA believes that people living with disabilities must not be discriminated against and are entitled to the same rights as the able bodied.

The DA calls on the MEC for Infrastructure Development, Jacob Mamabolo to address the concerns raised at this meeting as a matter of urgency.