Thabang Manamela receives R100 000 INSETA bursary

04 December 2014 Sandra Dunn, INSETA
Sandra Dunn, INSETA’s CEO.

Sandra Dunn, INSETA’s CEO.

Thabang Manamela (second from left) receiving a R100 000 INSETA bursary, supported by his Mom on his left, INSETA's CEO Sandra Dunn on his immediate right, the MEC for Social Development in the Western Cape Albert Fritz and Deputy Minister Hendrietta Ipeleng Bogopane-Zulu.

Thabang Manamela (second from left) receiving a R100 000 INSETA bursary, supported by his Mom on his left, INSETA's CEO Sandra Dunn on his immediate right, the MEC for Social Development in the Western Cape Albert Fritz and Deputy Minister Hendrietta Ipeleng Bogopane-Zulu.

The United Nations theme for the 2014 International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology”.

Sandra Dunn, INSETA’s CEO said: “When INSETA initiated the National Disability Awards in 2009, we did not realize that the event would become so well supported and be expanded to include nine categories of awards including prizes in the form of technology and connectivity.”

Assistive devices such as ‘smart pens’ that audibly tell the holder which shoes she’s pointing at, or what type of canned food she’s pointing at – the younger generation take these things for granted, but for those of us who are little older, it is incredible. These pens retail at about R3,500 so being given this as part of a recognition award is well…smart!

But that’s not all, other smart devices that were given away as part of the recognition awards included tablets and magnifiers, retailing at about R12,500.

ACSA and the MTN SA Foundation graciously co-sponsored the technology and connectivity prizes for the 2014 Awards winners.

Awards with a twist!

Equally unpredictable was the novel idea to issue the winners with mentoring and coaching tasks, which they graciously accepted.

As part of the recognition that was bestowed on them, the winners will act as provincial ACSA assistive technology ambassadors.

They will be identifying a deserving young person with a disability in their allocated provinces as beneficiaries of enabling assistive technology and will become mentors to these young persons as part of ACSA’s CSI team and regional airport managers.

More changes to the Awards are in the pipeline - an engagement process will commence in January 2015 to revamp the National Disability Awards following calls from the sector; and it is envisaged that the Awards will be ‘localised’ in 2015 with provincial awards preceding the national awards; that categories will be linked to development programmes and that more sponsors will be brought on board.

A glittering function

The 2014 INSETA National Disability Awards was hosted in a glittering function at the Cape Sun on December 2, 2014 and was as per usual very well attended.

As part of the National Disability Rights Awareness Month, INSETA, in partnership with the Department of Social Development, hosted the Awards.

The Awards focused on highlighting the achievements and contributions of disability rights activists and organisations over the past 20 years of democracy.

The Awards included the following categories:

National Business Leader Disability Award
National Champion Disability Award
National Company Disability Award
National Higher Education Institution Disability Award
National Woman Disability Achievement Award
National Young Leader Disability Award
National Entrepreneur Disability Award
Lifetime Achievement Disability Award
Posthumous Disability Award

National Young Leader Disability Award

This Award is for young persons between the age of 18 and 25 with disability, who display outstanding potential in their studies/workplaces and are poised to achieve great things in business

Mr Thabang Manamela received the award and is currently studying towards his General Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Pretoria where he also volunteers at the Centre for the Study of HIV and AIDS. He received a bursary from INSETA worth R100,000.

National Higher Education Institution Award

This Award is for FET Colleges, Universities of Technology and Universities (both private and public) who demonstrate through their strategy and policy the creation of inclusive environments for students with disabilities

There were two winners in this category:

University of Limpopo
False Bay FET College

Veterans with disabilities

Given the focus of this year’s Awards, it is no surprise that most of the awards were scooped up by veterans in the struggle for promoting the rights of people with disabilities.

Organisations such as the Self Help Association of Paraplegics (SHAP) and the South African Disability Development Trust (SADDT) were recognised, the former was established in 1981 and has helped thousands of South Africans with disabilities not only find their niche but also develop the mental toughness to be successful.

The SADDT has managed to establish itself as one of the most important vehicles for empowerment of persons with disabilities in South Africa.

Women with disabilities such as Ms Joyce Sibeko and Ms Nomasonto Mazibuko who are stalwarts of the struggle to promote the cause of people with disabilities, were also recognized.

There were six winners in the Life Time Achievement Award category:

Mr Mike du Toit
Mr Shuaib Chalklen
Mr Lucas Magongwa
Ms Washiela Sait
Justice Zak Yacoob
Mr Jabulani Ngcobo

The were two winners in the National Disability Champion Award category:

Judge Jody Kollapen
Mr Raymond Ackerman

The Posthumous Disability Award was given to Ms Phindi Mavuso, who was one of the first victims of the 1976 Soweto uprising, when she was gunned down while attending a funeral. She was disabled due the shooting and devoted the rest of her life to promote the rights of people with disabilities, joining SHAP in the 1980s and established the Amajuba Sports club, which promotes disability sport and wheelchair basketball.

The National Company Disability Award

This Award is for organisations that have demonstrated a sustained and extraordinary commitment to skills development and creating workplace opportunities for persons with disabilities within the said targets.

There were two winners in this category:

MTN SA Foundation

Entrepreneur Disability Award

This Award is for entrepreneurs with a disability who have displayed outstanding personal achievements in business.

There were two winners in this category:

Ms Sebenzile Matsebula
Adv. Jerry Nkeli

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