THURSDAY, 3 December marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The day is commemorated annually to promote equal participation by people living with disabilities in the country’s economy.

Lesco Manufacturing held an event on Wednesday, 2 November and talked about some of the challenges faced by employees living with disabilities.

CEO Jonathan Shapiro said the company had been running for 21 years, thanks to its employees with intellectual disabilities.

Shapiro said workers come to the company unskilled, but after training they deliver exceptional work.

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“Inclusivity is important to us and we’re still going to do more and venture into going ekasi,” he said.

CEO of Africation, Onyi Naweneri, also spoke about empowering disabled and unskilled young people.

She said the company partnered with Lesco 21 years ago to turn people’s lives around.

“A lot still needs to be done and we’re on the right path,” she said.

The SunTeam spoke to one of the employees, who gave her name as Lebohang. She said living with a disability was difficult.

“Families forget that we need to be like other kids,” she said.

Lebohang said being locked up at home resulted in anger and frustration. She thanked the participating companies for giving opportunities to people living with disabilities.

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Some of the learnership recipients are busy with their duties at Lesco. Photo by Morapedi Mashashe  Photo by

“My mum is always joyful when she sees me leave home for work,’’ she said.

“She knows I’m safe and doing something I love.”

Deputy Minister for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Hlengiwe Mkhize, said her department was ready to partner with other companies. She said President Cyril Ramaphosa had come up with new ways to help people with disabilities.