Free State Accessible Transport hosted the annual disability transport summit in Bloemfontein on the 31 October 2014 under the theme "Positive towards Disability Inclusion". The purpose of the event was to strengthen the commitment of all stakeholders to protect, respect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities. The event was co-sponsored by the Free State Development Corporation (FDC) and Airports Company South Africa.
Despite the political freedom, people are still not yet free from boundaries held especially on people with disability. Some of the challenges indicated were as follows:
- Employment Equity- Lack of employment opportunities, promotions and career advancement.
- Lack of Respect- Treatment towards persons with disability does not portray the dignity they deserve, e.g. demarcated parking areas for the disabled not respected.
- Public transport system not being user friendly.
A number of stakeholders were invited for presentations and the Free State Development Corporation representative indicated that the National Development Plan( NDP) states that disability and poverty operate in a vicious circle, meaning that disability often leads to poverty and poverty in turn, often results in disability.
The audience was further briefed on the various business opportunities available at FDC and were encouraged to visit the nearest offices for assistance. In conclusion it was made clear to the audience about the FDCs alignment to the NDP on contribution towards poverty elimination and the reduction of unemployment.