During January 2016 I visited centres caring for the disabled in Ekurhuleni as part of the DA’s Jobs Campaign. Through these visits it has become clear that the Ekurhuleni Metro has forgotten the disabled.
The centres I visited continuously struggle to obtain funds to pay for trained staff and keep the doors of the centres open.
Little Eden who cares for over 300 intellectually disabled residents in Edenvale and Bapsfontein is forced to employ untrained staff and have to use their own funds to provide on-site training. Unfortunately, many of the newly trained staff have repeatedly found better employment elsewhere as soon as they have completed their training and the process of training staff starts over again.
The residents of Little Eden cannot be trained to fulfil a place in the open job market due to their intellectual disabilities. They can only fulfil basic chores inside the home under the guidance of a supervisor. Some of the residents of Little Eden fulfil tasks such as washing the dishes or making tea.
This is also the position of the intellectually disabled of East Rand Protective Workshop in Kempton Park where the staff have to help mentor and enhance the skills of the 33 permanent residents as well as 60 day visitors. Local businesses in Kempton Park sometimes provide employment to the residents in the form of easy repetitive tasks such as packing gadgets.
Disabled students or learners with intellectual / special educational needs rarely have the opportunity to access the jobs market. However, fifteen learners from Thembinkosi School for Learners with Educational Needs in Tembisa recently received training and secured a job after completing their schooling in 2015.
Thembinkosi School attempts to place more students in the jobs market, but their biggest challenge is using public transport to get to and from work.
It is disappointing that the Ekurhuleni Metro has failed to thus far provide any initiative that accommodates the disabled in its job market.
It is crucial that the Ekurhuleni Metro invest in the education and training of their disabled residents. It is also crucial that the metro invest in infrastructure that will make traveling to and from work safe and easy for the disabled residents who have a job.
PR Councillor: Ward 5 / 89
Deputy Spokesperson: Ekurhuleni Metro Disability Oversight Portfolio
082 296 4773