While the R60 increase in disability grants is obviously intended to alleviate some of the burden carried by the associated unemployment due to disability, we once again urge government to improve educational and vocational training for persons with disabilities. This will result in persons with disabilities being able to be employed or to contribute to the economy effectively.
Many might applaud the national budget, we believe that government is on the right track with its measures to try and alleviate poverty through education and increasing social grants. We agree that healthcare also deserves a significant portion of the budget. However, we feel that just as money is allocated for such projects, government needs to look at the subdivision of these allocations to ensure that essential services are available to visually impaired persons.
Schools for visually impaired children, FET and Higher Education facilities need to be made accessible as well. The Department of Health needs to address the serious concern and backlog in the system of eradicating all forms of avoidable, preventable and curable blindness (which is as much as 80% that can be cured through simple and easy procedures). We believe that by investing in these areas, the strain on government to hand out social grants will decrease because we will have more productive, effective and trained visually impaired persons contributing to the economy and helping to make South Africa grow.
South African National Council for the Blind