NELSON Mandela Bay mayor Danny Jordaan wants public libraries in the city to offer books in braille to help empower blind people.
Celebrating the international day for persons with disabilities, Jordaan also encouraged people with disabilities to stand for election as councillors next year to help bring their plight to the centre of the Bay’s developmental agenda.
Jordaan visited the Nkqubela School for children with disabilities in New Brighton.
“I want to see people with disabilities as councillors. I am going to raise that with the ANC and I doubt there will be someone who will disagree.
“There’s nothing wrong with having a councillor who is blind or in a wheelchair. “After all, it is 21 years after democracy. “There’s no argument. There’s no basis for further exclusion. If there is, it is without basis,” Jakavula said to applause.
The mayor’s stance was a welcome development for People With Disabilities Forum chairman Benito Jakavula, who praised Jordaan, saying he was the first mayor to engage with them in a long time.
“I have been in this forum for over 15 years, but I have never seen a mayor in our midst.
“This is a day that will never be forgotten by people with disabilities.
“Most people, when they talk about people with disabilities, they talk about people who are looked down on. But now the disabled have a shoulder to lean on,” Jakavula said.
Jordaan pledged the metro’s support to address the school’s challenges.
The school received a R10 000 donation and more pledges from the community to build a kiosk at the school.
School manager Garth Goldman described yesterday’s event as a milestone for people with disabilities.