Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Employment Equity and Disability: A South African Study.

Shaida Bobat.

South Africa’s adoption of the deinstitutionalisation model in the 1990’s shifted the locus of service delivery for the disabled from state hospitals to the community. This, paired with the Employment Equity Act of 1998 (EEA) has raised new challenges for the employment of disabled persons in the open labor market. The EEA in an effort to eliminate unfair discrimination requires that 2% of employees in every public and private sector organization must be disabled. However, despite this, the law has been ineffective in bringing about real changes in the socioeconomic position of disabled persons in South Africa. This is poignantly illustrated by the extremely high unemployment rate (over 85%) among people with disabilities in South Africa. ( Ngwena & Pretorious, 2003).

The lack of social change following anti-discrimination legislation is not unique to South Africa. Therefore measures for employment equity will contribute to relieving inequalities only as part of a broader strategy of development and reconstruction. These broader measures include confronting the barriers preventing equal employment opportunities for the disabled.

This paper reports on the perceptions and attitudes of employers to the disabled and accommodations that may be required on the part of the employer. Various recommendations are made towards the achievement of employment equity.


Shaida Bobat  (South Africa)
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Registered Clinical and Organisational Psychologist. I lecture at the university. My academic interest is in the area of organisational change and the challenges facing S.A. organisations in the context of globalisation. I Work with the Ministry of labour on a project funded by the Danish Govt. which specifically addresses issues around skills development.

  • Employment Equity
  • Disability
  • Social barriers
  • Macro-economic constraints

(Virtual Presentation, English)