Disabled South Africans are being forgotten in terms of employment equity targets. The Employment Equity Act states that at least 3% of the workforce should be employees with disabilities.
About 7.5% of South Africans are disabled.
There is well-defined legislation with specific percentages and incentives around the employment, training, and support of people with disabilities in both the private and government sectors, but the appetite to comply appears extremely weak.
Employment for the disabled remains one of the major employment equity challenges that South Africa needs to be tackled says Tendai Khumalo, MD of Qunu Workforce and director of Workforce Holdings.
Khumalo became a paraplegic following a medical procedure and has since devoted his life to improving the quality of life of the physically challenged.
I had a blood cot that left me paraplegic.— Tendai Khumalo, MD of Qunu Workforce and director of Workforce Holdings
Khumalo tells host, Azania Mosaka that while South Africa is one of the countries in the world that incentivises companies to employ disabled people, there are also companies who are willing to pay penalties instead of hiring the disabled.
As mentioned, there are incentives and legislation - the onus doesn't only lie with employees but should also involve disabled people to ensure successful integration.— Tendai Khumalo, MD of Qunu Workforce and director of Workforce Holdings
In addition, Khumalo says employers need to now ensure that jobs set for the physically challenged need to match their physical capabilities, to enable them to reach their full potential in the workplace.
To hear the rest of this interview, listen below: