A special thanks to service providers
The annual ACSA Feather awards offer Qasa the ideal opportunity to thank the service providers at the ACSA facilities KING SHAKA AIRPORT, CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL (CTIA) and OR TAMBO AIRPORT (ORTIA).
Mandy Latimore represented QASA at ORTIA, Vusi Ndimeni at King Shaka and Raven Benny at CTIA.
Swissport, Menzies and Bidair provide the services of assisting special needs passengers.
These certificates of thanks are not awards of performance, but rather just a big THANK YOU from QASA and all of its members to the people that provide this important service.
QASA and FlSmidth mobilising people with disabilities
The 13th November 2012 was the date of the official handover of ten new wheelchairs to the Meerhof School in Rustenburg. The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) is the recipient of a grant from FlSmidth, with the request to assist people with disabilities in the Rustenburg area to be empowered with assistive devices that will create life-changing opportunities. These devices - which are mostly wheelchairs - provide mobility and independence, whilst affording the individuals far greater freedom. Many of the recipients have struggled in the past with a lack of accessibility and employment opportunities, so this fund will certainly open new doors. The recipients of the wheelchairs are selected people from disadvantaged communities in rural areas, who require wheelchairs and cannot afford them. QASA is proud to be partnering with FlSmidth in this wonderful initiative and remains grateful for their continued support.
PHIL NIXON SUPPORTS QASA
Phil Nixon kindly donated R50 000 to QASA so that the organisation can purchase powerchairs for quadriplegics. The first of two powerchairs was handed over to Gugu Mjilo in her hometown of Dududu on the South Coast in November. Gugu has recently completed matric and plans on studying at University this year. This donation will provide Gugu with mobility, independence and will afford her great freedom as she enters tertiary education. Gugu, her family, and QASA wish to thank Phil for such a generous donation.
Walking for road safety - Project Kaapstap
On the 1st December 2012 a brave Johann Odendaal started his epic walk from the Union Buildings, Pretoria heading towards the Jan van Riebeck Statue in Cape Town. He arrived on the 21st January reaching Cape Town, in total an amazing achievement of 1800km to raise awareness of road safety, promoting the QASA road safety slogan "Buckle up, we don't want new members", as well as raising funds for QASA along the way.
Johann handed out flyers along the way to support QASA's campaign and encouraged motorists to buckle up. On average Johann walked a distance of 40km per day with only one days rest in between.
Transport and Public Works MEC, Robin Carlisle joined the celebration walk to the Jan van Riebeeck statue in Adderley Street, Cape Town on the 20th of January 2013. Minister Carlisle stated "the biggest number of crashes in the Western Cape were caused by drivers who were not belted up. This included passengers." Minister Carlisle thanked QASA CEO, Ari Seirlis, for the continued hard work in assisting people who are living with spine injuries.
QASA congratulations Johann on raising awareness on road safety. Members of the QASA fraternity were very proud to walk the last 1km with him to the Jan van Riebeck statue in Cape Town.
Why QASA is opposed to urban tolling
The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) is an applicant together with the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) in the class action against SANRAL, the Department of Transport, National Treasury and others opposing the Gauteng E-Toll programme.
In March 2012 QASA decided to join OUTA to contest the validity, the consultation process and the viability of Urban Tolling as proposed by the SANRAL for the Gauteng E Toll programme to be implemented.
Since the announcement of such a revenue generation tolling scheme in 2007, the disability sector have never been consulted or engaged on the impact.
QASA made numerous attempts to advise the consequences of such a system to SANRAL and DoT and no engagement was forthcoming and no responses received.
QASA is concerned about:
People with mobility impairments (physical and visual) mostly use the road infrastructure and vehicles for their passage, as they have no alternatives. Minibus taxis, trains, busses, BRT and Gautrain are all inaccessible for a number of reasons, mainly structural, safety and cost.
Very few people with mobility impairment own their own vehicle and drive.
There is no realistic solution for people with mobility impairments to be granted exemption as the present system proposed, is an E-Tag partnering a vehicle.
Therefore, the goodwill of the community will be compromised by the inability to be refunded, or compensated or exempt for supporting the transport needs of people with disabilities.
QASA has been engaging with SANRAL and National Treasury in the last few months, through a directive from the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Transport, to try and establish an agreement which is legally sound, technically possible, administratively feasible for the exemption of people with mobility impairment, through their ownership of an E-Tag.
To date, no agreement has been reached and consequently, QASA remains part of OUTA and the legal process opposed to E-Tolling.
QASA does encourage a continuation of the consultation and engagement in order to conclude an agreement which will allow for exemption for individuals who qualify through the QASA and South African Council for the Blind structures to ensure that our members are no poorer, and as mobile through their community as they were before such a system was proposed.
In April 2012, OUTA / QASA were successful in the Gauteng North High Court to interdict the system from being launched and for a review, which now goes to the Supreme Court of Appeal, following an appeal lodged against the judgement against OUTA, QASA and others in December 2012
QASA remains opposed to an urban tolling programme that does not take into consideration the mobility needs of people with disabilities within an inaccessible transport infrastructure and environment. QASA shall continue to oppose until an equitable and workable solution is agreed upon.