Quadriplegic Accuses MyCiTI of Discrimination


William John Guillum-Scott.

A disabled man from Table View accuses MyCiTi bus service of discrimination. “You don’t charge a mother with an infant in a stroller for the stroller. I have as much ability as the infant in the stroller,” says quadriplegic William John Guillum-Scott.

Relies on assistance
Guillum-Scott, the founder of Will Scott Media and social media coordinator for the Western Cape Association for Persons with Disabilities relies on the assistance of friends, family and co-workers to get on and off the MyCiTi bus. He also has to pay the fare of whoever accompanies him on the MyCiTi bus in order to assist him with his wheelchair, which is not motorised.

“In my case I can afford to pay,” Guillum-Scott remarks, “as I am employed full-time and not on a grant. But only 0.7% of physically disabled people are employed. I’m sure you’ll agree that a R1500 monthly grant doesn’t go far.”

Early stages of investigation
Melkbos.net brought Guillum-Scott’s complaint to the attention of the MyCiTi bus service yesterday. According to mayoral committee member for transport for Cape Town Brett Herron, “Going forward, the City of Cape Town intends to investigate the possibility for those commuters who need the assistance of a caretaker to do so free of charge.” Herron added that the process is at a very early stage.” He also added a qualifier that did not soothe Guillum-Scott.

Options being considered
“One of the options that we are investigating is to request commuters with special needs to provide Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority, with the name and ID number of their care taker – this person can then be added as an ‘additional passenger’ on the commuter’s card.
However, for the City to implement such a system, we will need to have commuters with special needs to be assessed by an occupational therapist who will have to determine whether the commuter needs the assistance of a caretaker.”

Not impressed
“Cold and unfeeling,” was Guillum-Scott’s opinion of this. “The issue I have with that response is twofold. Should I register everyone I know? It is not only people in wheelchairs who need help. Someone who is blind also needs help. I am sick of this. The white paper states that all people should have equal access to transport. This is discrimination. This is a human rights issue.”




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