Visually impaired woman decries spoiled‚ bad mannered and abusive youth

09 August 2017 - 16:41 By Sipho Mabena
Hazel Naicker.
Hazel Naicker.
Image: Sipho Mabena

Among scores of women marching from Pretoria station to Lillian Ngoyi memorial in the city centre to mark Women’s Day on Wednesday was Hazel Naicker‚ a visually impaired mother marching with a heavy heart.

The 54-year-old woman from Braamfischerville‚ in Soweto‚ marched to highlight unemployment and lack of suitable transport and facilities‚ issues that people with disabilities still grapple with more than two decades into democracy.

But more hurtful to Naicker was the emotional abuse and disrespect meted out to parents by young people.

She has a 20-year-old son who dropped out of school two years ago for no apparent reason and now she has to care for him.

Naicker said her son never listened to her and hardly speaks to her‚ which she said amounted to emotional abuse.

“We have children that do not want to respect us. Government says children have got rights but now they abuse their rights. When you tell them to do something‚ they will just refuse. They bunk school and when you ask them why they are not at school‚ they just look at you and say it is their right. It hurts‚ it makes me feel terrible because even if you talk to them they do not respect you‚ and they have bad manners. I am going through that at this very moment‚” she lamented.

Naicker said when her son dropped out of school in grade 11‚ she tried to get him into a technical college and got him financial assistance from people who were willing to help but he misused the transport money and dropped out.

She said now her son depends on her R1‚700 monthly disability grant and she is struggling.

Naicker‚ originally from KwaZulu-Natal‚ said it should not be that she‚ as a woman living with a disability‚ should be taking care of her 20-year-old son.

She said because government has given so many rights to children to an extent that they are untouchable‚ government should also step in with programmes to teach young people manners and self reliance.

“Me being a blind mother‚ I live on a disability grant so now I have to care for my son at that age. It is too much‚” Naicker said.