Access solutions company Jessen Dakile created a wonderful precedent recently when they upgraded the amenities at the popular Masakeng restaurant in Soweto to cater for mobility-impaired patrons. Ramps and access aid facilities were everywhere to be seen, even in the bathrooms.
Dr Kennedy Dakile, managing director of the company, welcomed invited special guests, the media and His Excellency, the Ambassador, Dan Frederiksen of the Royal Danish Embassy. The ambassador addressed the guests, as did Mr Pule Malefane, COO of the Gauteng Tourism Authority and Mr Godfrey Mautloa, owner of the Masakeng restaurant. Formalities were closed by Mr Lawrence Lenyora, chairperson of the physically impaired community of Soweto.
The gathered guests enjoyed drinks and finger snacks by courtesy of Jessen Dakile and the proprietors of Masakeng, Godfrey and Bondi. (Picture: Pule Malefane, Martin Jessen, Ambassador Dan Frederiksen, Dr Kennedy Dakile and Ronel Jessen at the entrance to Masakeng restaurant.)
Ronel Jessen, general manager of Jessen Dakile, said that universal access to amenities and establishments around South Africa has become increasingly important. Jessen Dakile imports a variety of ramps, hoists, lift platforms and bathroom accessories which will help to provide access to patrons in wheelchairs. This is especially important for the forthcoming soccer world cup in 2010, and the company hopes to play a significant role in that aspect. In addition, South Africa is now a signatory to the UN Disability Covenant and has certain obligations to the wider disabled community in facilitating inclusion and access.