Towards an inclusive South African state : the role of equality and human rights in promoting equal opportunities for persons with disabilities in the workplace

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 10
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    The practice of democratisation at the centre of development in South Africa has brought about dual impacts of change. Diversity within South African societies has increased challenges facing the state. While emphasis has been continually placed on promoting processes of transformation, there has simultaneously been a challenge of deceleration in state developmental practice during pursuits of social change in working environments. Persons with disabilities continue to be secluded, regardless of increased pressure for inclusiveness in workplaces. Diversity in employees as an inevitable element of social groupings has surfaced as a precept of both strengths and challenges to organisational structures in private and public organisations. In light of diversity in public organisations, the primary focus nonetheless remains fixated on the divisions etched in the workplace as a consequence of disablism, in particular. Persons with disabilities have been pinpointed as one of the targets of exclusion, continuing to be undermined in their contributions to effective organisational practices. To transform organisational attitudes affecting persons with disabilities and embracing diversity, attention is to be directed towards the application of principles of equality and human rights in creating enabling environments that are inclusive of persons with disabilities. The article reviews the concept of disablism as a societal phenomenon affecting persons with disabilities in organisations. Furthermore, the principles of equality and human rights are explored in terms of their contribution to diversity and an enabling environment in the workplace.