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UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

GOVERNMENT NOT PROTECTING THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES

STATEMENT ISSUED BY BANTU HOLOMISA, MP
UDM PRESIDENT

On International Day for the Disabled the UDM urges government and the corporate sector to effect changes that protect the constitutional rights of people living with disabilities.

It is alarming that in SA, 99% of disabled people are unemployed. These figures are even more alarming given the fact that 4.8 million people in South Africa are disabled. Whilst discrimination based on gender and race in the labour sector is steadily being eradicated, people living with disabilities are not enjoying the same protection of their democratic rights to equality and freedom from discrimination.

According to the Managing Director of Disability Resource Solutions, the myth that employing and accommodating a disabled person is expensive needs to be addressed, as more than 90% of changes to the work environment need not be costly. It is unacceptable that most buildings are inaccessible to people living with disabilities and hence they are not being employed. Often employers and planners incorrectly believe that the onus is on the other party to create a barrier-free environment. These barriers to human talent, equality and the eradication of discrimination are wholly unacceptable.  Factors such as insensitivity and lack of awareness have been cited as reasons for the violation of the Human Rights of people living with disabilities.

The UDM calls on government to act in accordance with the Constitution of South Africa by protecting the rights of people living with disabilities; they are willing and able.

Enquiries:
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President
082 552 4156

Pretoria
3 December 2001

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