Casual Day 2024 Launch

Casual Day celebrates 30 years of defending disability rights
The 2024 theme I see you is a reminder not to overlook the human rights of persons with disabilities

Disability rights organisations across South Africa launched the 30th annual Casual Day campaign that has, since its inception in 1994 raised more than zaR455 million for persons with disabilities.

Casual Day is marked on the first Friday in September when South Africans wear Casual Day stickers, Casual Day apparel and display digital badges on their social media profiles to show their support of persons with disabilities.

Casual Day 2024 was launched in at the SABC Studio M1, Auckland Park, Johannesburg. The campaign is a nationwide collaboration by the disability rights community to give South Africans with disabilities access to assistive devices and advocacy for freedom, dignity and equality that persons with disabilities are fully entitled to, but that are all too often a constant struggle to secure.

At the Casual Day Launch, we were honoured to have an incredible lineup of speakers who truly made the event memorable. Tylo Ribeiro, Mister Supranational South Africa 2023, as our Master of Ceremony, guiding the proceedings with charm. Our NCPD Chairperson, Alex Msitshana opened the event with a warm and inspiring Welcome Address, setting the tone for the day. Therina Wentzel our National Director then took us on a nostalgic journey with captivating videos that reflected on Casual Day’s 30-year history and revealed the exciting theme for 2024. A heartfelt thank you to Erin for the stunning visuals that accompanied these presentations.

Our performances were simply outstanding, featuring electrifying acts by Smashizo and Thandisile, along with a moving poetry recital by Daphney Twala. We are deeply grateful to our distinguished Patron; Dr. Vincent Maphai, for officially opening Casual Day 2024, and to our esteemed speakers: Mpumi Mabuza, Acting Chief Marketing Officer at Brand South Africa, and Zain Bulbulia, Acting Chief Director at the Gauteng Office of the Premier. Additionally, a special thank you goes to our guest, Clicks Brand Executive Phathiswa Sefatsa. Thank you to each person who contributed significantly to the success of the launch, and we are truly thankful to the SABC’s Staff, Technical Team and Management for their contribution, especially Nkhumeleni Madlala from the SABC Diversity Equity and Inclusion Unit.

Every year a theme is assigned to Casual Day. The theme this year is I See You. It’s a reminder that the human rights of persons with disabilities are often overlooked. It’s also a reminder to South Africans to affirm the diversity that persons with disabilities bring to communities and to invest in community spaces that are universally accessible. I See You acknowledges people who support Casual Day and thanks them for caring and contributing.

Patron Dr Vincent Maphai and Phathiswa Sefatsa: Brand Executive from Clicks officially open Casual Day 2024 #ISEEYOU

This year, in its 30th anniversary year, Casual Day has set a target of raising zaR30 million for persons with disabilities and organisations, schools and projects in the field of disability.

Says Therina Wentzel, National Director at the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) that owns the Casual Day trademark: “The 30th anniversary of Casual Day is an opportunity to reflect, appreciate and focus on shaping a society where inclusivity is not just a concept, but is a lived reality. The theme this year recognises the inherent worth, dignity, and uniqueness of all people.”

According to the World Health Organisation, 17 percent of all persons have a disability. By this reckoning, there are approximately 10,500,000 persons with disabilities in South Africa today.

“As South Africa commemorates 30 years of democracy, Casual Day marks three decades of defending disability rights. It’s imperative to recognise the integral role persons with disabilities played in our struggle for democracy. As an integral part of the revolutionary forces, persons with disabilities fought for our democracy, contributing significantly to the fabric of the nation,” says Alex Msitshana, Chairperson of the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD). “Each person with a disability embodies incredible resilience and adds invaluable diversity to our communities. As we launch Casual Day 2024 under the theme I See You, we affirm our commitment to upholding the human rights of persons with disabilities and celebrating their vital contributions to our society. We invite the nation to join us and support Casual Day.”

Money raised on Casual Day is allocated countrywide to organisations, schools and projects in the field of disability. The campaign is strongly dependent on  each person in South African getting at least one Casual Day sticker.

“We urge everyone to look beyond the surface and truly acknowledge the essence of the people that makes up the rich tapestry of our nation. Let’s build a society where everyone is seen, heard, and valued for their unique contribution,” Therina Wentzel says.

South Africa’s very first Casual Day (in 1994) raised zaR413 000. Casual Day last year (in 2023) raised R20 million. Money raised between those two years have fluctuated from zaR28 million in 2014 to zaR6.7 million in 2020 when Casual Day activity was restricted due to Covid-19 and lockdown conditions.

Casual Day stickers are available for a donation of R20 each from participating disability rights organisations, public sector departments, schools and retailers. Digital stickers and Casual Day merch may be purchased via the Casual Day website: https://casualday.co.za/shop/

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