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World Sight Day – 08th October 2020

International White Cane Safety Day – 15th October 2020


October is a very special month in South Africa.

It is the month where the whole country focuses on caring for our eyes and is the most important advocacy and communications month in the Eye Health calendar. Held annually on the second Thursday of October, is World Sight Day which focuses global attention on eye health, prevention of avoidable blindness, vision impairment and vision rehabilitation.

On the 15th October is International White Cane Safety Day.

International White Cane Safety Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated since 1964. On this day we laud the achievements of persons with visual impairments and the white cane as a symbol for blindness and a tool of independence.


The theme for World Sight Day 2020 is: Hope in Vision. This is a call to action, to all those who care, informing them that despite the presence of COVID-19, there is still hope in restoring sight. This, we can do if we pull our resources together and partner with each other as this is our social responsibility.


High-quality and high volume eye care services are usually made accessible to all disadvantaged communities of South Africa.

This is essential for accomplishing universal health coverage.

The World Report on Vision which was launched this year by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, provides guidance and inspiration on how to advance integrated people-centered eye care and raise awareness in order to help protect sight for all ages. There are many ways that elite members of society countrywide can contribute to this deliberate programme.


During this very special month, the Bureau for the Prevention of Blindness, the eye care flagship division of the South African National Council for the Blind together with Fundraising & Marketing team, led by the National Executive Director, Mr Lewis Nzimande will be in five provinces to commemorate Eye-care Awareness Month, namely Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape and the North West.


We will be at Tonga Hospital in Mpumalanga during the eye care week where the teams will be screening, treating, operating and distributing spectacles.

In the Northwest we are doing school screening at special schools in the Dr KK District and dispensing prescription spectacles.


In Limpopo, Polokwane on the 15th of October we are hosting a mini-white cane safety day awareness walk and a candle-light vigil in commemoration of World Sight Day and International White Cane Safety Day.

On the 29th the team will be in Port Elizabeth where we will be hosting a white cane safety day walk.


As we commemorate White Cane Safety Day, it is our hope that the importance of the right of blind and partially sighted persons to travel independently and safely in a universally accessible environment is recognised, and that persons who are blind and partially sighted understand the value of having and using the white cane.


In the “Call to Action” for World Sight Day, Hope in Sight we call on government and business houses to partner with non-profit organisations to take a proactive approach to ensure adequate, accessible, and affordable eye-health care for all.




For more information please contact:


Bhavanisha Chanderparsadh

Fundraising & Marketing Specialist


012 452 3811


Angelina Khupe

Manager – Bureau for the Prevention of Blindness


012 452 3811