Drive to boost disabled people

THE KwaZulu-Natal department of economic development and tourism is committed to reducing unemployment in the province.

THE KwaZulu-Natal department of economic development and tourism is committed to reducing unemployment in the province.

But, one of its initiatives, the Youth Economic Empowerment Programme, has been found wanting after revelations that the department had not served undergraduates who had disabilities.

In an attempt to accommodate disabled people they had launched a disability expo that was one of its kind in the region.

The expo was held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.

It is an initiative aimed at showcasing employment opportunities for people living with disabilities.

A large number of the disabled people were present to witness the expo.

The expo was held in partnership with organisations that are owned and run by people with disabilities and was also attended by private companies to showcase employment opportunities in the private sector.

It is set to promote the involvement of people with disabilities by ensuring that their needs are identified, prioritised and met through various programmes.

Speaking at the expo,Neil Kistnasamy of Fransell Pharmaceuticals said their role at the expo was to give back to the community that had supported their business.

They specialise in surgical equipment and have been in the business for four years.

Menzi Nene of Zethembe Recruitment Services said their aim was to create employment for thepopulation concerned.

Head of the department of economic development and tourism Carol Coetzee said: "As the exhibition is being held, people must remember that the majority of people with disabilities are of working age though they remain without jobs.

"The unemployment and poverty rates faced by the people with disabilities do not reflect on their abilities, energies and talents.

"We have no doubt that this event will in future be remembered as an occasion which changed the plights of people living with disabilities and serve its purpose."

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