Let’s continue creating inclusive spaces
Disability Rights Awareness Month, which we observed throughout November, culminates in International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December. While we used this month to celebrate the rights of persons with disabilities, the resilience of their families, and the staff who provide support to them, we remain mindful to create inclusive spaces for persons with disabilities every day thereafter.
During this month we have encouraged citizens to uphold and protect the rights of those with special needs, as these are the very same human rights enshrined in our Constitution. When we remove social, physical, and attitudinal barriers, we are empowering persons with disabilities.
The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) takes its commitment to supporting these individuals and their families seriously.
Services the DSD provides in partnerships with NPOs:
- Disability awareness and educational programmes;
- Developmental supportive and therapeutic services (social work interventions): counselling, support group programmes;
- Daycare programmes for adults and children with disabilities;
- Support programmes for families/caregivers; and
- Protective workshops services and residential care services.
The DSD funds a range of services across the province for the upliftment and support of persons with disabilities, and their families. For the 2022/2023 financial year, the Department has allocated R24,7 million to day care centres; R19,9 million to protective workshops; and R60,5 million for Social Services Organisations (SSOs). These SSOs help more than 45000 clients annually.
The Department has allocated R49,7 million to NPOs across the province that provide accommodation, care, and support services. We have allocated R49,7 million to these residential facilities in the 2022/2023 financial year.
The DSD also has its own residential facility, Sivuyile Residential Facility in Stikland. Sivuyile accommodates children and adults with severe and profound, physical, and intellectual disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, behaviour challenges and psychiatric disorders.
Minister of Social Development Sharna Fernandez visited the facility and was pleased to see the high standard of cleanliness and hygiene. “What struck me the most was the immense care with which the staff at Sivuyile carried out their duties. The special carers working with the children, many of whom have been abandoned by their parents, know each and every child’s unique needs. And those who work with the adults have boundless energy and patience in dealing with every individual’s special requirements. I also must tip my hat off to the management of Sivuyile who are running a tight ship to ensure residents are in the best possible hands,” says Minister Fernandez.
Sivuyile centre manager, Simoné Smith, told Minister Fernandez that they also provide advanced terminal care to clients: “The staff are superstars in the way they deal with these patients. We recently had a resident who was in hospital, he was very ill and during his final days we sent a carer to visit him. She said we have to bring him back to the facility, we have to care for him here where he’ll be surrounded by people who love and care for him.”
“This dedication and commitment, which I got to see first-hand at Sivuyile, is just one example of the kind of care our staff across the Western Cape put into their work. They understand the importance of the services they provide to persons with disabilities, especially those who have been neglected or have faced stigma in their homes or communities. The road they walk with these clients is one that often lasts a lifetime, and one that lessens the load for families and caregivers,” says Minister Fernandez.
Cobus Lourens from the Provincial Department of Transport & Public Works: General Infrastructure also took Minister Fernandez through some of the plans to upgrade the facility next year, to make it more safe, comfortable, and home-like for the patients and staff. We look forward to seeing the refurbishment and call on the private sector to join hands in supporting this project, or any other facility in need of help.
To access more information about services offered by the Department, call our toll-free number on 0800 220 250, send an email to SD.CustomerCare@westerncape.gov.za or visit the department’s website: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/social-development
Link to images of the Sivuyile visit: https://we.tl/t-g8obPv2zJc?utm_campaign=TRN_TDL_09&utm_source=sendgrid&utm_medium=email&trk=TRN_TDL_09
Media Liaison Officer
Office of MEC Sharna Fernandez
Department of Social Development
Tel: 084 775 2975