Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) co-sponsored the prizes for the 2014 INSETA Disability Awards winners when the function was held in Cape Town to coincide with International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2014.

Recently appointed Group Executive for Corporate Affairs at ACSA, Refentse Shinners is responsible for looking after the social interests of the business. Her duties include the product transformation agenda. “Within this it is where you have your Corporate Social Investment, which includes looking after the brand of the company and also looking after the corporate reputation of ACSA,” explains Refentse.

This state owned entity is the Airports Authority in South Africa. ACSA provides and maintain airport infrastructure of nine key airports in the country, including the three flagship airports - OR Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka International in Durban. Refentse clarifies that their business focus on the facilitation of travelling passengers, thus facilitating passengers between the country’s airports and the aircrafts that they travel in.

The INSETA National Disability Awards are one of ACSA’s key programmes that the company support in line with their focus areas of supporting disability through their CSI programs. “The reason why ACSA became involved is strategically to provide mobility and empower disabled people with mobility and the provision of equipment to assist.”

ACSA is also involved with other inspirational projects for People with Disabilities. “Our flagship one and the jewel of ACSA is definitely Wheelchair Tennis. We have been supporting wheelchair tennis since 2004 and we started of the sport with about 10 players…Today we can proudly say there are about 600 players participating in this sport nationally. There are also people in rural areas taking part in this sport to increase the focus on development of the game.”

ACSA is represented on the global platform when it comes to wheelchair tennis - two wheelchair tennis players are ranked in the Top 10 world ranking in this sport.

According to Refentse, Airports Company SA is currently covering quite a lot of areas when it comes to disability. “We have the assistive devices program, which is linked and aligned to the INSETA disability awards. We provide and fund disability equipment and other devices for the visually and hearing impaired, as well as mobility impaired, and enable them to be integrated into society.”

ACSA also supports DeafBlind South Africa. “Currently we are quite confident that within the broader structure of the disability sector it’s quite a comprehensive offering that we have,” says Refentse.

Airports Company South Africa is very dedicated and committed to supporting disability in South Africa. “This is not only for the benefit of the disabled but also for the benefit of the company, because it brings us closer to what the real things are of people who ordinarily wouldn’t be afforded opportunities to live a normal life. Therefore it empowers us as ACSA to know we are playing a role in empowering them and developing them to lead normal and fulfilled lives.”

ACSA will continue to support the INSETA Disability Awards in 2015, as this is one of their priority initiatives within the disability focus area.