On Friday, 06 October 2017 the University of Venda (Univen) staff members took their time to support the disabled students during the 2017 Disability Indaba event that was organised by Univen Disabled Student Unit. The Disability Indaba started with a fun walk for disability awareness from the University’s Main Administration building to Univen Sports Hall where the formal event took place.

Prof Peter Mbati (in red and blue shirt holding mobility cane) participating in the blind activity of the disability awareness

In his opening remarks and purpose of the event, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Peter Mbati pointed that the purpose of Disability Indaba is to create awareness to the University community. He said the University community, both students and staff members should be aware that there are disabled people on this campus. He highlighted that despite the fact that a lot has been achieved, access for the disabled into the University buildings is not enough. Prof Mbati has also expressed that the walk that he participated in holding a cane with the eyes
blindfolded has made him to realize how the blind people need assistive devises at all times. “It is not easy to walk without seeing where you are going. Let us help these people to access all these buildings which will also assist them to live the life that all students live.” Prof Mbati has promised that the University will increase the number of disabled employees.

From Left: Prof Peter Mbati seating on Mpho’s new Wheelchair (vrrr-pha), Mr Mpho Sekgweni (Beneficiary) and Ms Cathy Koele from Travel With Flair (standing)

During Univen Disability Indaba, Travel With Flair (TWF) Company donated a brand new technologically advanced wheel chair to Mr Mpho Sekgweni. Mr Sekgweni is a Univen student who is physically challenged. “I am very happy because the University and the donor heard my plea hence my prayers were answered today, said Mpho Sekgweni who is also doing his internship at Univen’s Department of Information Technology Services. Mr Sekgweni added that he wishes the same could be done to all students living with disabilities.

It is not nice to ask people to push you in order to get to places where you want to go -Ms Cathy Koele

Ms Cathy Koele from Travel With Flair said she was deeply touched when she heard that there is a student who sometimes fail to do other things just because his wheelchair no longer functions properly. She said she knows the difficulties faced by the disabled people and most of them do not want to be other people’s burdens yet they need help. “It is not nice to ask people to push you in order to get to places where you want to go.” Ms Koele said this is the reason why Travel With Flair did not hesitate to help Mr Sekgweni.

Tuition fee for the disabled people will automatically be taken as a bursary not a loan -Mr Victor Rambau

Acting COO of NSFAS, Mr Victor Rambau said the government has been and is still developing programmes for young and disabled people of this country. He stressed that the disabled people who have applied for NSFAS do not have to apply again the following year and the funding for them will automatically be taken as a bursary instead of a loan. They do not have to repay it when they complete their studies. Mr Rambau advised companies such as Travel With Flair to employ people with disabilities when they are qualified for job opportunities. He said NSFAS is trying by all means to fund all disabled people. He urged the Universities to avail the names of the students living with disabilities before the closing date for the 2018 academic year.

Members of the University community filled the university streets to participate in the disability awareness fun walk

Issued by:
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 10 October 2017

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