Dial-a-Ride User Forum has voiced concern that the transport service has not adequately spoke to the needs of disabled people.
Recently, disabled people of Cape Town voiced their grievances by handing over a memorandum to City officials.
“I think the users of Dial-a-Ride were very brave to take to the streets,” said CEO of the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) and member of the Presidential Working Group on Disabilities, Ari Seirlis.
The lack of integrated transport systems often hinder many disabled persons from finding employment and being active within a community. Although, Dial-a-Ride is a good initiative, door to door transport services generally are not sustainable.
“Luckily the My Citi bus service, when it is completed, will provide infrastructure for wheelchair users. This doesn’t mean that Dial-a-Ride shouldn’t exist because there is still that distance from the bus stop to your home,” Seirlis explained.
Seirlis said that approximately a year ago a policy for a special needs housing programme was presented to the minister, which was not implement. Housing is a human right and many disabled people struggle with accessibility in their homes.
As part of their rural outreach program QASA began an initiative to place ramps in certain houses, however, they need to take caution when they place these ramps as many use it to their advantage in order to increase the value of their houses and then placing it on the market straight after.
“When people make developments, they should consult the community in which they are building and enquire what amount of houses needs to be accessible and what access is required,” Seirlis continued.
VOC (Quaanita Satardien)