Improved access for disabled

Elisha Molefe

Elisha Molefe

Prayers by the disabled people who are employed by the 11 government departments in North West have finally been answered.

The government will revamp state-owned and leased buildings to the tune of R4,9 million over the next three years to make them user-friendly for disabled people.

The government has earmarked 95 buildings that need a structural revamp, including the installing of lifts, according to Mfoloe Matshube, spokesman for the provincial Public Works department.

He said the buildings - in Mafikeng, Potchefstroom, Rustenburg and Vryburg - were assessed for this purpose.

Matshube said most of the work would be carried out by teams from the department while other projects could form part of the Expanded Public Works Programme.

In welcoming the move earlier this week, public works MEC Jerry Thibedi said people with disabilities were capable individuals who could contribute to the development of society.

"They too have rights. That is why we have legislation that protects and promotes the rights of people with disabilities,'' he said.

In 2001 the provincial public works department had launched the "Youth for Environmental Accessibility Programme" that engaged the youth to build ramps in schools, police stations and hospitals to make government buildings accessible to people with disabilities.