Establishment of Association
Events leading up to the establishment of the Cape
Cripple Care Association included the establishment of the Invalid
Children’s Aid Committee, under the Society for the Protection of Child
Life in Cape Town (this subsequently led to the formation of Maitland Cottage
Home), the Lady Michaelis Orthopaedic Hospital, Princess Alice Orthopaedic
Hospital and St. Joseph’s Home for Chronically Invalid Children.
On 25 February 1937 the Cape Cripple Care Association was
established, with Dr Pieter Roux and Mrs H.C. Horwood being primarily
responsible, and Mr J. Kipps as chairperson.
In the same year, Lord Nuffield donated £100 000 to South Africa “for
the development of orthopaedic surgery and for the discovery and cure of
crippling disabilities.” Cape
Cripple Care Association decided that the time had come to form a national body.
A conference was called in Cape Town in June 1939, the result of which
was the establishment of the National Council for the Care of Cripples in
South Africa. Dr (Mrs) J.E. Conradie became its first chairperson.
At this conference, a cripples care charter was adopted.
In 1939, the trustees of Lord Nuffield’s gift recognised National
Council as executive for the Nuffield Trust.
Hospital facilities and
Orthopaedic Clinics The
Association led a deputation to the Administrator of the Cape Province in 1941
for money for extension of Princess Alice home of recovery.
The foundation stone was finally laid in 1948 by H.R.H. Princess Alice
but the hospital was only completed in the mid 1950’s.
In 1941, the need for
orthopaedic clinics was discussed. Cape
Provincial Administration in 1948 eventually agreed that the Cape Hospital Board
would be responsible for rural clinics. Meanwhile,
the Association was running five monthly clinics in Aspeling Street, Wynberg,
Bokmakierie, Windermere and Vasco, with financial assistance from National
Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa.
The Provincial Administration assumed responsibility for these urban
clinics in 1949.
From these early Association
initiatives, the Provincial Administration now operates 15 clinics in rural
areas and 42 in the Cape Metropole.
In 1963, the Paraplegic
Centre (now Spinal Unit) was established at Conradie Hospital. The
Association seconded a social worker on a part time basis to the Centre. The
Centre now has its own team of social workers who have close liaison with
Orthopaedic Nursing Service
Started with imported staff as there was no specialised
training in South Africa. Mrs H.C. Horwood, Chairperson, Cape Cripple Care
Association, persuaded National Council to institute a one year course in
orthopaedic nursing in collaboration with the Union Department of Health and the
Cape Provincial Administration in 1945.
Orthopaedic Nursing Service,
now the responsibility of the Provincial Administration of the Western Cape,
works in conjunction with the network of rural clinics. 15 orthopaedic now
employed to operate rural clinics.
Orthopaedic Appliances and
State Department was originally responsible for supply of appliances to
indigent patients. As a result of the delays in receiving appliances, the
Association took over the ordering of appliances, except artificial limbs, in
1948. A special orthopaedic clerk was employed for this purpose.
Association also acquired 150 wheelchairs which were hired out at nominal
In 1966, the provision of
appliances was taken over by the Provincial Administration, and in 1980
Provincial hospitals assumed responsibility for their allocation.
Supply of appliances to indigent people improved. However, problems
related to the selection of suitable appliances and other products led the
Association to establish the Independent Living Centre in 1983.
This Centre provided
information and advice about all types of available assistive devices and housed
a permanent display of these devices and other products relevant to independent
living. Due to financial constraints the Centre was closed in 1994.
The Centre was re-opened in 1999 as an Independent Living Service Centre
on the grounds of the Conradie Hospital in Pinelands.
Establishment of Branches of
Association Apart from the services
rendered in Cape Town, the Association was dependent on branch committees to
provide for the needs of people with physical disabilities within their
branches of the Association were established in George and Worcester
in 1952. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s more branches were established in
rural areas, including Mossel Bay, Heidelberg and Riversdale.
Branch committees either provide services in a specific geographic area
or are registered for a specific function. Community based branches are at
present located in Beaufort West, George, Heidelberg, Olifantsrivier, Oudtshoorn,
Paarl, Tygerberg, West Coast and Worcester. Erstwhile branches in Riversdale and
Mossel Bay were dissolved in 1964 and 1984 respectively.
Branches which operate
specific services at present include Headway, Ocean View Work Group, Volcare,
Tembaletu Day Centre, Knysna Workshop, Wallace Anderson Home and Robertson
Association for Spina Bifida
and Hydrocephalus is in the process of being registered as a branch.
Several organisations now
registered in their own right were initiated under the auspices of the
association namely the Arthritis Foundation, Western Cape Cerebral Palsy
Association, (formerly Cape Spastic Association) and Cheshire Homes.
Social Work Service
First full-time social worker appointed in 1944. By 1949
the Association had 5 social workers. By 1980, the Association and Branches
employed 11 social workers. This
number has now increased to 29, with social workers located in Cape Town,
Tygerberg, George, Paarl, Oudtshoorn, Beaufort West, West Coast, and Worcester.
The spread of social services
led to broadening of the Association client base to include people physically
disabled for reasons other than orthopaedic. In the rural areas, the branches of
the Association are commonly the only body rendering service to disabled people
and therefore have taken on all types of disability.
In 1965 the Helpmekaar Hostel for Paraplegics
established at De Novo in Kraaifontein. A Cheshire home branch was
established in 1967 with the first Cheshire home being opened in 1968 with
four residents. This home became the responsibility of the National Foundation
of Cheshire Homes established in 1970.
Since that time, the
Association and branches been involved with small group homes only where people
with physical disability live independently. At present, such homes are situated
in Athlone, Louwville, Riversdale, Summer Greens, Milnerton and Bonteheuwel.
Sport and Recreation
The Association's response to those people with physical
disability who are socially isolated has been ongoing.
The Cripple Care Clubs, later known as the Polygon Clubs, were started
in 1964 and provided leisure time activities. At present, social groups
operate in Guguletu, Hanover Park, Mitchells Plain, Athlone, Retreat and
facilitated the establishment of the Paraplegic Games.
The Association of the Western Cape (now Western Province Sports
Association for the Disabled) was formed in 1963 and the Association leased
ground to them in Athlone. In 1982
the Association started a swimming club, which was operated by a group of
volunteers. Many of the children involved in this club are now provided for
through the special schools which they attend.
The Association administers
the allocation of tickets to the Chris Burger Suite at Norwick Park, Newlands.
In 1999, an arrangement was made with the Western Province Cricket
Association to distribute tickets to wheelchair users at all cricket matches
held at Newlands, as well as an arrangement with Ajax Cape Town to
distribute tickets for the Chris Burger Suite to all soccer matches held at
Norwich Park, Newlands.
Employment In 1968 the Association assumed responsibility for the Industrial
Training Centre which had been initiated by Cape Flats Distress Association
(CAFDA) in 1953, with financial support from National Council.
In 1969 permission was granted to build a hostel and Industrial Training
Centre in Athlone. This was completed and occupied in 1972. This Centre offers
vocational rehabilitation for people with physical disability, the objective
being placement in the open labour market.
In 1970, the need for
protective employment for people with severe disabilities was recognised and the
first protective workshop was opened in Beaufort West in 1970. Several more
workshops were established during the 1970s and 1980s namely Guguletu (1973),
Oudtshoorn (1978) and Ocean View (1981). Additional
workshops opened since 1981 are located in Paarl, Knysna, Laaiplek, Hanover
Park, Hoedjiesbaai, Retreat, Brackenfell, Worcester, and Pacaltsdorp.
Aside from the formal
protective workshops, various occupational groups have been initiated by the
Association. These are located in Woodstock, Sea Point, Rusthof, Hout Bay,
Sherwood Park, Khayelitsha and Nyanga.
For the period 1982 until
1996, a Home Industry Scheme operated, the objective being to train people with
disabilities, unable to work on the open labour market, to make articles at
home. These articles were then sold by volunteers at craft fairs and other
outlets. As a result of economic constraints, this service was discontinued in
In 1979, the Cripple Care
Products Shop opened as an outlet for goods being made by protective
workshops and individual people. Staffed
by volunteers, this shop was closed in 1981, as it was felt better to sell goods
at specific points in the community. Volunteers
continued selling goods at places such as craft fairs.
Education In 1978, Astra School for children with physical disabilities
started in a cottage on St Giles ground. Responsibility for the school, which
was relocated to a new school building in Montana in 1987, was assumed by the
Department of Education in 1991.
Tembaletu Day Centre
established a school which was registered in
1981. The branch is still the
sponsoring body of the school.
In 1988, Karitas Training
Centre was initiated under the auspices of West Coast branch. The centre is
now the responsibility of the Department of Education.
Day Care Programmes
The dearth of services for children who are multiply
handicapped led to the establishment of day care centres by the Association and
branches. Since 1986 Day care centres have been established in George, Mitchells
Plain, Oudtshoorn, Mbekweni, Paarl East, Mfuleni and Worcester.
Care Attendant Service
In 1983, the Association together with other
organisations, ran a pilot Care Attendant Scheme. A modest scheme was
established by the Association in 1986. At
present, a Co-ordinator and 9 Care Attendants assist on average 35 each month
with their personal care. The
Service is based at the Independent Living Service Centre.
Barrier Free Environment
A campaign against architectural barriers was launched in
the early 1970s. An Access Committee, comprised of people with disabilities,
operating on a volunteer basis was established in 1978.
Successes achieved include
the institution of special parking discs for disabled drivers, initially in Cape
Town in 1983, and subsequently in various municipalities throughout the
Province. In some areas parking
bays have been demarcated for disabled drivers.
In Cape Town area, since 1981
there has been an ongoing campaign to dip kerbs for wheelchair users.
Since 1979 wheelchair bound
rugby enthusiasts have joined the spectators at Newlands. Initially an open
spectator area was allocated to people in wheelchairs.
Since the institution of the
National Environmental Accessibility Programme (NEAP) in 1993, the Access
Committee has become the organ for fulfilling the NEAP objectives. However,
without appropriate staff to assist the volunteer committee, the achievements
will be minimal. This matter is at present receiving the attention of the
Self-Representation by People
with Disabilities The Association promotes
self-representation of people with disabilities. Hence, apart from focusing on demand of environmental
barrier, the Association offers life skills training.
Recent examples are the development of the Couples Project in 1994 and
the Share Group in 1997. Ongoing
training has led to many enrolled in these groups now being peer counsellors.
The first audited income and expenditure account of the
Association in July 1941 records income of £636,55 ,with a surplus of income
over expenditure of £281,18,7.
Ongoing funding was required
and Easter Seal Campaign was launched in 1944.
In addition, the Association registered under Ordinance 4 of 1919 in 1948
which enabled financial aid from Department of Social Welfare and Local
Today the Association still
relies on the Easter Stamp Campaign, State and local authorities for
funds. Income is also received
through volunteer efforts of those who support Community Chest and all
Association fund-raising activities, and private donations.
1947 - 1953
Mrs H.C. Horwood
1953 - 1976
Prof. C. Lewer-Allen
1976 - present
Justice P. Tebbutt
1937 - 1939
Mr J. Kipps
1939 - 1948
Mrs H. C. Horwood
1948 - 1958
Dr. N. Roux
1958 - 1975
Mr L. Bisset
1975 - 1978
Dr. R. Goldschmidt
1978 - 1980
Prof. B. Bromilow-Downing
1980 - 1983
Dr. A.G. Key
1983 - 1991
Prof. G. Dall
1992 - 1994
Dr. J. Crosier
1995 - 1996
Mr P. Collis
1997 - present Mr P. Oscroft
1940 - 1944
Miss H. Monkhouse
Miss N. Salmon
Miss M. Newlands
1948 - 1950
Miss N. Coram
1950 - 1953
Mrs F. Liebenberg
1952 - 1955
Mrs F. von Moltke
1.11.55 - 31.12.82
Mrs J. Wilson (previously Reynolds)
1.1.83 - 30.4.98 Miss S. Hurford