When the world is faced with a global pandemic, South Africa unites to commemorate persons with disabilities and their rights as stipulated in the constitution. National Disability Rights Awareness Month is annually between 3rd November to 3rd December and coincides with 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence another important social awareness campaign to accentuate The Bill of Rights.
A group of local businesses and community members came together to support an initiative that includes a network of plastic bottle top collectors from Ekurhuleni, Pretoria to Limpopo, who partnered with Interwaste Germiston, have seen 64 wheelchairs collected, 53 donated and more than 260 000 kg of plastic bottle tops recycled since 2013.
Among the beneficiaries are people living with disabilities in Kathorus identified by community members and centres to receive the wheelchairs and food parcels to help alleviate some of their daily struggles.
Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part programme is fully aligned and exists for exactly these types of initiatives of volunteers who offer their time, resources and services in various centres to aid in improving the quality of life for all citizens including persons with disabilities.
Disability is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these and may be present from birth, or occur during a person’s lifetime.
During the launch of the campaign, Deputy Minister in The Presidency, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize said, “The South African Human Rights Commission notes a very critical fact that persons with disabilities currently account for 5.1% of the population aged 5 years and older in South Africa, who continue to experience lack of access to adequate health and basic education, and are at risk of economic exclusion with no prospect of securing employment. The sector is also particularly vulnerable to the compounded effects of discrimination and abuse.”
Lynne Crawcour, from The Herbert Evans Group, who is also part of the network said, “What we do is the epitome of how one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Giving back to the community does not have to be expensive, but needs to give hope, mobilize society for the good of its people and help others thrive. All community members within the collectors’ network collected a total of 960 kg of plastic bottle tops in the last 2.5 months and made the November 2020 drop off possible for all beneficiaries.”
Interwaste makes efforts to donate a new wheelchair for every 450kg of plastic bottle tops collected. The initiative is open to all members of the public, so anyone can contribute to ensuring that a neighbour living with a disability has dignity and is empowered.
Interwaste recognises the value and power of partnerships and believes that environmental preservation goes hand- in- hand with community upliftment. Through their CSI initiatives the company shares skills and resources to support and uplift people in disadvantaged communities. The company offers integrated waste management services to a wide range of industries providing innovative, sustainable waste solutions for the future.
Building a community inclusive of disability rights, educating people in order for them to understand the need to protect persons with disabilities and ensuring the human rights of all citizens are upheld, protected and promoted is achievable when communities work together.
To play your part and be involved in the network of collectors, please contact Lynne on 083 330 7132.
Bahapi Ba Baruhi
Bahapi Ba Baruhi is a network of business in South Africa, created to bring business together in collaboration for different projects in various industries.
The Herbert Evans Group of companies offers specialist fine art supply shops, a number of premium paints and painting hardware retailers offering a range of products for domestic and commercial customers and the Libra paints factory that produces and supplies industrial and decorative paints.
LegenDraw is a draughting agency that offers all building draughting services for everyone. The agency offers draughting, training and BIM solutions. The organisation believes in giving back to the youth and are training and placing a number of draughtsmen across the MEP industry.
Kengelic Cleaners is a household and industrial cleaning products and services supplier, who has teamed up with a household and industrial cleaning manufacturer to bring a new line of cleaning products.
Bottle top collector network lead. See all images of every bag collected, beneficiaries and other organisations who contribute.