Tshwane ’s community of people with disabilities feels neglected by Mayor Solly Msimanga, saying he has failed to consider them when employing staff and top management in the city.
A group of people with disabilities, affiliated with the African Disabled People’s Movement (ADPM), marched from Marabastad to Tshwane House in the CBD last week, demanding Msimanga “ fosters respect” and “restores their dignity” by having them represented in his office.
In wheelchairs and on crutches, they descended on the city centre, with some holding placards that read “we don’t need pity, we need empowerment”.
Speaking on behalf of the movement, Veronica Baloyi said the city continued to violate the Constitution by failing to employ 2% of people with disabilities.
“That is per Chapter 2 of the Constitution. People with disabilities are not represented in top management in the City of Tshwane. We don’t participate in the local development projects and are not included in community structures like ward committees,” she said.
We demand immediate action to recruit and employ suitable persons with disabilities without delay. Many people without disabilities have the required skills and qualifications. We need the immediate employment of people with disabilities in top management, starting with divisional heads of departments.”
They were also disgruntled that the Tshwane disability office was moved from the watchful eye of the mayor’s office to the department of social development.
“We demand the relocation of the disability desk back to the office of the mayor or city manager. There is a lack of commitment from those in the position of power in promoting the rights of people with disabilities,” said Baloyi.