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Engen helps people with disabilities get behind the wheel

Engen has partnered with the Disability Economic Empowerment Trust (DEET) to launch a training programme for people with disabilities that will assist them with all the requirements and skills required to pass their driver’s license and enter the job market.

Engen and the DEET have worked together since 2019 on initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of life of persons with disabilities through the equalization of opportunities, poverty reduction, and promotion of social inclusion.

The driver training programme for people with disabilities commenced in October and will roll out through to the first quarter of 2022 in the Free State, Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.The aim is to upskill 20 beneficiaries per province by helping remove barriers to participation and ultimately putting 100 new skilled drivers on the road.

Engen’s General Manager: Corporate Strategy and Communications, Khalid Latiff says the programme will guide people with disabilities through the full process.

“This will cover learner’s license preparation and coaching, booking of learners and driver’s licenses, a minimum of 20 hours driving practice with a qualified instructor as well as covering all fees and insurance costs,” says Latiff.

Engen’s continued commitment to the DEET fulfills South Africa’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was signed in 2007, as well as the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disability that was approved by Cabinet in 2015 as part of domesticating the convention.

“The rationale behind our drive to support persons with disabilities is not only about upholding the Constitutional principles of non-discrimination on the basis of disability but also to put tangible measures into place to support developmental interventions, so that people living with disabilities can become inclusive, contributing members of society,” adds Latiff.

Disability inclusion is one of Engen’s key social investment focus areas, giving the company the opportunity to contribute towards inclusive disability rights in South Africa.“As a caring and inclusive company with ‘heart’, this aligns with Engen’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which endeavour to ensure a better and more sustainable future for all,” says Latiff.

Expressing his gratitude to Engen for their renewed support, CEO of the Disability Economic Empowerment Trust, Thabiso Phetuka says a driver’s license opens up a host of new career prospects for the unemployed and retired people who still want to work.

“Our partnership with Engen provides hope to job seekers with disabilities and those who aspire to start their own businesses, who might previously have been unsuccessful in securing a position, as a result of not having a driver’s license,” says Phetuka.

Latiff adds that Engen is humbled to play a small part in empowering new motorists and opening up new opportunities for them.

“As a company, we are inspired by and support government’s efforts to create a better life for all, and sincerely hope that having driving skills will lead to a self-sufficient, and economically independent future for the people who complete the programme.”

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