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Last modified: 15 Mar 2019
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Standing up for Kouga's disabled

08 March 2019
Karel and Ansie Herselman were overjoyed to receive a wheelchair and visit from Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

Karel and Ansie Herselman were overjoyed to receive a wheelchair and visit from Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

Ursula Jonkers thanks Mayor Horatio Hendricks. Looking on are Portfolio Councillor Freddy Campher and Ward Committee member Xolisa Ntozini.

Ursula Jonkers thanks Mayor Horatio Hendricks. Looking on are Portfolio Councillor Freddy Campher and Ward Committee member Xolisa Ntozini.

Eight Kouga residents are the proud new owners of their own set of wheels thanks to the Wheelchair Wednesday campaign.

Mayor Horatio Hendricks and his team last week delivered eight new wheelchairs to the residents, among them two double amputees and three women who could not leave their homes for years because of their lack of mobility.

"It's been an absolute joy to deliver the wheelchairs to the respective families and we trust that it will open new opportunities for each of the beneficiaries," said Hendricks.

"As a Council, we are on course to take our communities where they want to go, and we want everyone to be able to move forward together. We're not leaving anyone behind."

Mita Leander, whose husband Wentzel was among the beneficiaries, said it was a great day for them.

"We are so grateful that the Mayor and the councillors saw our need and went the extra mile to help us," she said.

Ursula Jonkers, a double amputee renowned for being out and about in the community, was also delighted to receive a chair of her own to replace the rickety loaner she had been using.

All smiles, she even challenged the Mayor to a wheelchair race, confident that she would triumph.

Hendricks said the wheelchairs were a donation from the Association for the Physically Disabled (APD) Nelson Mandela Bay following Kouga's participation in the 2018 Wheelchair Wednesday campaign.

"The campaign was an eye-opener and gave us a taste of how difficult it is for disabled persons to access things and places most of us take for granted.

"We are more determined than ever to do all we can to make the whole of Kouga, including our municipal buildings, more accessible to everyone."

He said two ramps at the municipality's headquarters in Jeffreys Bay had already been adjusted to make it easier for wheelchair-users to negotiate.