South Africa’s transport infrastructure and its capacity to provide transport to persons with disabilities came under the spotlight at a summit organised by the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA) and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in October.
“The reality for persons with disabilities in the context of South Africa’s transport sector is incongruent with the country’s vision for equality and inclusion. The country’s transport infrastructure lags behind other countries in its capacity to enable persons with disabilities to move freely and independently,” says Therina Wentzel, the national director at the NCPPDSA.
The Transport Summit, appropriately themed around the local and international evolution of transport options to accommodate a diverse society, included insightful talks by experts and transport industry stakeholders. Among the keynote speakers were Amanda Gibbert from the National Department of Transport and Claudia Ramsden, the group manager of the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA).
Topics included sustainable transport options, adaptations of motor vehicles, options for self-driving, government policy and discussions on the national parking disc for persons with disabilities.
A highlight was the presentations by two international guest speakers: Eion O’ Herlihy, managing director of O’ Herlihy Access Consultancy in Ireland, and Brenda Puech, an architect and highly experienced independent access consultant from the United Kingdom.