Japan donates wheelchair accessible vehicles to SA
Minister of the Department of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini and Ambassador Yutaka Yoshizawa
10 July 2012
Lack of transportation remains a major obstacle in many parts of South Africa, especially for wheelchair users. To address this challenge, the Department of Social Development (DSD) received ten vehicles donated by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The wheelchair friendly vehicles were handed over by H.E. Mr. Yutaka Yoshizawa, Ambassador of Japan on behalf of the Government of Japan in the interest of the rights of people living with disabilities. These vehicles have electric lifts as well as the anchoring devices for passengers using wheelchairs.
The aim of the handover is to enhance an existing partnership between DSD and the Government of Japan which is informed by the need to promote disability mainstreaming. A two-year technical cooperation project will highlight the plight of people living with disabilities and further assist with the training of at least 480 DSD public servants. It is expected that 120 public servants from the national office and 40 from provincial offices will be trained. Such training will not only highlight the plight facing persons with disabilities but also ensure that they are integrated into programmes being run by DSD.
In order to mainstream disability across DSD programmes, the Department is currently drafting the guidelines to assist with strategic and effective utilisation of vehicles for the benefit of DSD and its partners, including people with disabilities.