Changing mindsets on World Hearing Day | Western Cape Government


Changing mindsets on World Hearing Day

3 March 2024

For World Hearing Day this year – which is commemorated annually on 3 March – we are focusing on “changing mindsets.”

The World Health Organisation says this year’s focus should be on “overcoming the challenges posed by societal misperceptions and stigmatising mindsets through awareness-raising and information-sharing, targeted at the public and health care providers.”

The Western Cape Department of Social Development funds a range of Social Services Organisations (SSOs) across the province that sees to the counselling needs of persons with disabilities and their families. These SSOs help up to 45 000 clients annually. For the 2023/2024 financial year, the DSD allocated over R60 million for these organisations.

Of these SSOs, seven organisations provide support to people with hearing disabilities or impairments, namely: NG Kerk De La Bat, Deaf Community of Cape Town, Deaf Federation Western Cape, De La Bat School for the Deaf, DeafBlind SA - Western Cape, Hi Hopes, and the Carel du Toit Centre.

The Department’s own residential facility for adults and children with disabilities – Sivuyile – also provides support and care.

“On this day we wish to encourage parents and caregivers to pay attention to babies or young children who present with hearing or speech development challenges. There are organisations that can assist children and their families, so that the necessary interventions can be implemented timeously,” says Provincial Minister of Social Development Sharna Fernandez.

Families and communities should also be mindful of stigmas and misconceptions related to hearing and ear problems. This also includes individuals who have recently learned they are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

“To people who receive the news or result that they are now Deaf or they have Hearing Loss, it is NOT the end of the world. We have so many resources and accessibility, and your self-esteem can adapt. Being Deaf or Hard of Hearing is not a curse. It will always be there, you can learn to adapt to this new chapter and it will lead to success. Nothing is impossible. Happy World Hearing Day,” says Jabaar Cassiem Mohamed, Provincial Director of DeafSA Western Cape.

To access more information about services offered by the Department, call our toll-free number on 0800 220 250, send an email to  or visit the department’s website:

Media Enquiries: 

Monique Mortlock-Malgas

Spokesperson to MEC Sharna Fernandez

Department of Social Development