PEOPLE with disabilities in South Africa continue to struggle for recognition of their rights more than two years after the government drafted a White Paper to introduce such a law.
In the absence of this legislation, people with disabilities are largely left to rely on a “welfarist” approach – the kindness of government, non-governmental and private stakeholders, such as employers – for the protection of their interests.
As part of efforts to consult on the shape of the act, a National Disability Rights Machinery meeting was held in Pretoria last week, bringing together groups representing people with disabilities, according to the principle of “nothing about us without us”.
The meeting, hosted by the South African Disability Alliance and attended by key government officials, came as pressure was being ramped up to implement the People with Disabilities Rights Act that was promised by the 2015 White Paper of Persons with Disabilities.
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