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South Africa: Youth Disability to Attract Focus on Youth Day


  • Published: 2018-06-12 : *Press Release: Youth Day Disability Awareness Event : Contact: diev.org.za
  • Synopsis: Youth Day Disability Awareness Event, Soshanguve, North of Pretoria, Corner Ruth First Road and Aubrey Matlala Str. Soshanguve Crossing Mall.

The South African history would not be complete without reminiscing on the June 16, 1976 Uprising that seminally changed the socio-political landscape of the country.

When the language of Afrikaans alongside English was made compulsory as a medium of instruction in 1974, black African students began mobilizing themselves and this resulted in a widespread revolt that turned into an uprising against the erstwhile repressive government, which began in Soweto and ultimately spread across the country.

A Youth Day Disability Awareness Event will be held in Soshanguve, North of Pretoria, the object of which being to reflect on challenges faced by youth with disabilities forty-two years on.

This is the initiative of the youth-led Rudzambilu Holdings, an outfit that is actively advocating for disability to be recognised within social discourses and its flagship #Tag Going Organisation.

"While we recognize a myriad of challenges that youth with disabilities face, our focus for 2018 is to interrogate how lack of or poor communication between youth with disabilities and their abled-bodied counterparts inhibit social interaction, which in turn accrue to acrimonious cohesion", said Lucky Netshidzati, CEO of Rudzambilu Holdings.

In South Africa, 7.5 percent of the population (2,870,130 people) live with some form of a disability. This is according to a Census 2011 report titled, 'Profile of persons with disabilities in South Africa'.

Further, disability is more prevalent among females compared to males (8,3% and 6,5% respectively).

The population group profile shows that black Africans had the highest proportion of persons with disabilities (7,8%), followed by the white population group (6,5%).

Youth (between ages 25 and 34) with disabilities account for 5,4% of the total population, 5,3% of which had attained higher education, 23,8% had no formal education while 24,6% had some primary education.

"These statistical realities paint a rather bleak picture of the youth disability landscape in South Africa and enjoins every member of society, up to the highest echelons of government to play their part, no matter how minute, in improving the lot of this sector", continued Netshidzati.

Motivational speakers, Church representatives, Youth leaders, Persons with disabilities from both the business and legal fraternities as well as Government representatives are billed to address the Event, whose attendance would be constituted by mainly youth from diverse orientations.

"One need not look far in the history disability in South Africa to find evidence of attempts at social extermination, including ostracism, institutional control and segregation. Such attempts at forceful exclusion may be understood to be simultaneously eradicating from awareness those parts of self that persons with disabilities represent. Almost akin to the June 16, 1976 Uprising, this is a proverbial stereotypical struggle that has to be waged and delinquent attitudes defeated with axiomatic sledge-hammers", sombrely concluded Lucky Netshidzati.

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