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Promoting disability sport and ensuring their active participation in all aspects of life is very high on the priorities of MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Bongi Sithole-Moloi. 



MEC Sithole-Moloi demonstrated this when she visited Harding under Umuziwabantu Municipality in southern KwaZulu-Natal to hand-over a multi-sport combination court facility that has been built by the Department of Sport and Recreation at Harding Special School.



This event on Friday, 3rd November coincided with the start of National Disability Rights Awareness Month which is commemorated in the country between 3 November and 3 December.  This year's theme is: “Persons with disabilities – Equal participants in shaping a sustainable future."



”We are here as the government to say we are proud of this school. We have heard good news about this school. We heard that pupils here are doing very well not only academically, but also in sports,” said MEC Sithole-Moloi.



“Disability sport is one of the priorities of our administration, whereby we are encouraging people living with disability to participate in sport and live their lives fully,” added the MEC.



She said people living with disability have related to her their desire to be given opportunities to work for their living instead of just relying on social grants. “Some of them have qualifications and they want to work to feed their families.” 



She said during the recent Paralympic Games in Brazil our athletes showed that they were capable of participating in sport until they reach international stage, and KZN want to see more athletes from within “our communities” emerging.  

Beside the state of the art facility, the MEC also gave the school sporting equipment including a set of tennis wheelchairs, tennis rackets & balls and football goal posts as well as football & netball playing kits.



The primary school for children with different forms of disabilities has many sporting accolades on its name. It has produced at least three athletes who are part of the SA Wheelchair Tennis Team of which one of them is ranked 4th in the world. The school is part of the Department’s School Sport Programme and has excelled in a number of competitions in different sporting codes.



Public Relations Manager for Wheelchair South Africa, Anthony Moruthane who also attended the launch said the combo-court will help address the lack of practicing facilities which has led to the top players from the region migrating to Gauteng to pursue their passion.



MEC Sithole Moloi revealed that as part of the Disability Month, she will also host a provincial symposium for people living with disabilities to discuss matters affecting them particularly in sports and arts.

The MEC concluded her visit with a community meeting in at Ward 1 of the Umuziwabantu meeting to promote “Active Lifestyles” in communities, which is one of her key focus areas.  The event was also attended by the Ugu District Mayor Tolomane Mnyayiza and Local Mayor Dixie Nciki as well as other community leaders.

 

  
 
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