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The building blocks of an inclusive society<span><p>Good evening,<br><br>On behalf of the Executive Mayor and City of Cape Town, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all delegates here tonight. It’s a privilege to have you with us.<br><br>Global estimates show that one billion persons are living with a disability and face daily barriers to inclusion. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes transportation, employment and education as well as social and political participation.<br><br>We have a responsibility to ensure that all persons have universal access to public and private spaces, and to the economy so that we can break down barriers that unfairly isolate individuals living with disabilities. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>​​​​​​To address such a critical issue, we had to look at creating universal access and social protection policies to include persons with disabilities, the elderly, pregnant women and illiterate persons. <br><br>We believe that the City of Cape Town’s future depends on creating an inclusive community. As such, our policies need to be centred around equal enjoyment of human rights and participation in society, as established by the World Programme of Action concerning disabled persons. <br><br>Policy needs to be followed by action. <br><br>As such, we have implemented projects where universal access is at the heart of our infrastructure development. The MyCiti Integrated Rapid Bus System was built in line with our universal access policy and boasts accessible ramps, an announcement system, audio warning systems and wheelchair safeguards on all our buses.<br>But this is only one part of our plan. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:757px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span>​</span><span><p>Further to this, we have created policies which encourage companies to further develop the skills of persons with disabilities and offers them employment in various jobs matching their physical and intellectual strengths. We believe that employment creates a sense of dignity and independence. <br><br>We have also worked with civil society to address the stigma related to disability. Through our Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department, we have worked tirelessly to create programmes where we bridge the gap between able-bodied persons and those living with disabilities. <br><br>These programmes which are offered at our city spaces and non-profit partners focuses on promoting empowerment, building a better understanding of the challenges faced by persons living with disabilities, and creating opportunities for differently abled persons. <br><br>The cricket series, which will be held in our city, will help our social programmes in breaking down the stigma. The sportspersons here in this room are a worldwide source of motivation and courage for persons living with disabilities. <br><br>It is with this that I would like to welcome both the Blind Proteas and NZ Caps to the City of Cape Town. Tonight is about breaking down more barriers, and working towards equal inclusion in society and representation in the economy. This will be achieved by  highlighting the struggles which the two cricket teams have overcome. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:709px;" /> </figure>As a city, we are honoured to be part of this sporting series and remain committed to further partnering with federations which work toward the development of sport and disabled sportspersons. <br><br>As such, I would like to thank both teams here today for the incredible work which they do, and wish them well in the series. We will be following with keen interest. <br><br>I thank you.<br><br><strong>End  </strong> ​​</span>2020-02-04T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#38a513a1-1df4-4fb4-a5b3-c27e9df80a18;L0|#038a513a1-1df4-4fb4-a5b3-c27e9df80a18|Cricket field;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#6c33e5b8-ac29-4fdf-b61f-1e346bf5768b;L0|#06c33e5b8-ac29-4fdf-b61f-1e346bf5768b|Community service;GPP|#1bcaacbe-19a4-4b34-8092-38e17f8e40ab;GP0|#f60216f6-93ec-4c26-bce1-440d1485abb1;L0|#0f60216f6-93ec-4c26-bce1-440d1485abb1|sports1


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