South Africa Disability Legislation and Policy Gap Analysis

South Africa in ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol in 2007 assumed the obligation to take all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures to implement the rights of persons with disabilities enshrined in the Convention and to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices which inhibit persons with disabilities from exercising these rights on an equal basis with others. The purpose of this report is to examine existing South African legislation, policies and programmes that have a direct or indirect impact on the promotion, protection and fulfilment of the rights of persons with disabilities, as provided for in the CRPD in order to identify current gaps in terms the policy and legislative framework and its implementation in order to ensure that rights are translated into tangible gains for people with disabilities. The report will critically analyse the measures that have been taken by the government to realise the rights of persons with disabilities guaranteed in the CRPD and the extent to which these measures protect, promote and uphold the rights of persons with disabilities. The measures examined will include policies, programmes and projects and legislation instituted by government at national level. The report will also examine the extend to which these measures have been implemented. The report features articles by: Serges Djoyou Kamga reviewing the national implementation and monitoring mechanism on the rights of persons with disabilities; Anton Kok analysing the protection against unfair discrimination afforded to persons with disabilities in the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 Of 2000. Ilze Grobbelaar-du Plessis and Ezette Gericke critiquing the legislative and policy framework protecting the right to employment of persons with disabilities. Jehoshaphat John Njau exploring the gaps in the measures adopted by government to provide for accessibility of persons with disabilities. Zita Hansungule examining the right to primary education for children with disabilities in South Africa which is complimented by Serges Djoyou Kamgas examination of the right to education for students with disabilities at tertiary level. Bernard Bekink interrogating the national provisions facilitating the right to participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life. B Kuschke discussing disability discrimination in insurance. The right of persons with disabilities to be protected against exploitation, violence and abuse is interrogated by Philip Stevens. Zita Hansungule continuing the discussion interrogates the protection of children with disabilities from sexual violence and abuse and their ability to access the justice system to redress their rights. The report concludes with an analysis of the impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on South African Health Law by Magdaleen Swanepoel and a critique of South Africa’s social protection system as it relates to persons with disabilities by Innocentia Mgijima Konopi.