Dept to help those with disabilities start businesses, find work

The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities would this financial year help those with disabilities to find work and set up small businesses, the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana said.

Replying to questions from Members of Parliament in the National Assembly on what support her department was offering people with disabilities, Xingwana said the role of her department was not to implement job creation projects per se, but rather to help facilitate these through other stakeholders.

In this regard her department would in this financial year support applications made to the Jobs Fund for those with disabilities and provide support to sheltered workshops.

Her department would also facilitate business finance and support for those with disabilities running enterprises and co-operatives from institutions like the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) as well as the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform?s Comprehensive Rural Development Programme.

Xingwana said the department is - together with the South African Disability Alliance and Disabled People South Africa - working to set up job creation projects and assist those with disabilities to set up their own businesses.

She said South Africa still had some way to go before reaching the target of having disabled people making up two percent of the workplace.

"Government is responding in terms of policy, job access, reasonable accommodation - and all these are part of the Codes of Good Practice on Disability in the Workplace,' she said.

However, she said the codes needed to go deeper to make an impact on the type and quality of work disabled people undertook in the workplace.

Xingwana said her department wanted a review of the Traditional Courts Bill over concern that it would undermine the rights of women in rural areas, adding that women in the rural areas were not consulted. - BuaNews