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Wabash College

Publication Date

Fall 2005

Program Name

South Africa: Multiculturalism and Social Change


This project is a look into whether the current legislation and resources provided allow for the equality that is promised in the new constitution. I looked at legislation and community NGOs in order to establish what is being done in order to assure that people with disabilities have equal access to resources, including education, transportation, employment, healthcare, public awareness, and human resource development. In order to investigate these questions I worked with the Cape Mental Health Society and the Fountain House; I conducted interviews and observations looking at the community facilities of care. These community groups also provided insight into the translation of legislation to the people it is intended to serve. After I finished my research, I concluded that South Africa has progressive legislation when it comes to the actual laws being signed. However, these laws are ineffective and poorly implemented, thus creating a system of exclusion. As a result of poor implementation, resources are not being allocated to people with disabilities, thus people with disabilities are operating in a system that promotes exclusion. Additionally, the Healthcare 2010 policy is one that is supposed to increase the quality of care for people, based on community service, but people with disabilities are simply being removed from the hospitals and overloading into under funded community NGOs. Finally, I conclude that a complete shift, in terms of philosophy on disability, is needed in order to truly accomplish equality for people with disabilities.


Public Policy | Social Welfare


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