DFID Policy Project: The role and effectiveness of disability legislation in South Africa


This small-scale research studied the extent to which policies and legislation, aimed to protect and promote the rights of disabled people, have been implemented in South Africa.

The two key questions that the research aimed to answer were:
1) How effective has the legislative and policy environment been in making real changes to the lives of disabled people?
2) Are policies being implemented and acted on, or do they lose their impact at the grass-roots level?

The methodology included questionnaires and interviews with key respondents in government departments in two urban provinces (Gauteng and Western Cape) and two rural provinces (Eastern Cape and KwaZulu/Natal). The author also conducted an extensive desk research and literature review to identify key information relating to the delivery of services to disabled people through implementation of policies and legislation.

The report analysed a number of specific policies and reports, such as the Employment Equity Act, and the Skills Development Act and the Commission for Employment report 2002/03.

A 6-page executive summary is available as well as the full report.


Disability Knowledge and Research Programme, 89 pp.

Published 1 January 2005