We are getting a raw deal, say disabled people

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Disabled people in eThekwini have accused the municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal government of failing to give them jobs despite their qualifications.

Expressing their grievances during a two-day disabled summit in Durban last week, they complained that they still had to wait in queues to collect disability grants.

A disabled person from Umlazi, who did not want to be named, said it was embarrassing for them to wait for handouts from the state.

"We feel so ashamed about having to queue for grants, while we can provide for ourselves. We have diplomas and degrees.

"But what is all that for, if the municipality cannot provide us with jobs," he said.

Musa Zulu, a disabled persons' rights activist in KwaZulu-Natal, lambasted the provincial government for not considering disabled people when building houses.

"They have been building RDP houses for a long time, but how many are designed for disabled people?" said Zulu.

Ntombi Mnyandu, 58, of Amaoti, near Durban, complained that she had to pay for herself and her wheelchair in a taxi from her home to the city.

She said she ran a fashion design school, and was battling to get sponsorship, particularly from the municipality.

"We don't have the same privileges as abled people. For us, accessing financial backup is a battle," she said.

Fisani Mzimela, of the business support unit in the municipality, said that among the problems hindering disabled people from accessing financial aid was the poor quality of their products.