Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) have urged the Ministry of Finance And Economic Development to increase funding for entrepreneurial loans and grants in the 2023 budget.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development and Expanded Committee on Sustainable Development Goals are holding nationwide consultations on the 2023 National Budget.
The public consultations will be held from October 3 to October 7, 2022. The committees have been split into four.
Last Monday, a representative of the Signs of Hope Trust lamented the paltry disability funding given to young people.
During a 2023 budget consultation meeting in Epworth, a representative of the Signs of Hope Trust lamented the paltry disability grants given to young people.
“The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare awards grants worth ZW$1000 to youth with disabilities and people with disabilities.
“Because a disabled person’s life is not simple, the ZW$1000 in handouts is insufficient to cover basic needs.
“As a result, I implore the government to raise the grants to $20 to $50,” the representative said.
The official exchange rate between the United States dollar and the Zimbabwean dollar is currently US$1:ZW$612. Thereby making the disability benefits provided to PWDs worth US$1.63.
In neighbouring South Africa PWD’s receive R1990 (US$111.77) as a disability care grant every month.
Furthermore, the delegate emphasized that the economic difficulties that young people with disabilities confront, which raise the need for accessible loans.
However, collateral has come up as a significant barrier to obtaining loans.
“ I implore the authorities to give young people with disabilities more revolving funding so they can earn a living and, most importantly break the begging syndrome.
“When qualifying for entrepreneurship loans, collateral is prerequisite, but young people with disabilities lack security,” said the delegated.
Due to a variety of factors, including lack of information access and limited educational prospects, PWDs are economically disadvantaged.
Although the government attempts to economically empower PWDs through disability grants and loans through the MPSLSW, disability desk, the reality on the ground is still a far cry.