National Day of people with disabilities

Safiyia Stanfley, MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson on Gender

The Disability Rights programme, presented by the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature today, is a great starting point. A fair amount of work must still be done, by all of us, to ensure the full integration of people with disabilities into our society.

It became clear during the discussions with representatives from civil society that those who are differently able are not being assisted and supported sufficiently, especially not as it relates to crimes against them. We heard the horrifying case of an autistic girl who was raped at age seven. Now, five years later, she is still to receive closure on the matter. The DNA testing is apparently one of the reasons that the case has been dragging on. We cannot allow any criminal case to drag on indefinitely. It was welcome to note the presence of the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison. We trust that she’ll have taken note of the issues raised and that it will be raised in her department’s strategic planning.

As the Democratic Alliance, we believe that those are differently able must be given the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to society. We look forward to working with the provincial government in the term ahead to address the challenges facing our communities.