DAA News Network

South Africa: Disabled people remain poor and marginalised

Posted 26/5-10 at 18.12

Anew research study on poverty and disability has concluded that despite official commitments to the human rights of disabled people in South Africa, most remain poor, are less educated and are unable to earn a livelihood.

The study found that that 82% of all unemployed South Africans are disabled. Lauren Graham, a researcher at the University of Johannesburg's Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA), remarked that, "Contrary to popular beliefs that disabled live on social grants, the study found that 61% of the respondents interviewed in eight of the poorest wards in Johannesburg are not accessing the disability grant.'

Dr Rowland, a disability right activist and contributing researcher to the study added that the high rate of HIV/AIDS has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of people accessing the disability grant. "Since there is no support for people with chronic illnesses, the disability grant provides a valuable means of support to those in need. It however also places pressure on the social grants system." The study stressed the important role government should play by assisting with education and skills development, making the grant more accessible, ensuring barrier free access, supporting micro enterprise development and stepping up access to employment opportunities.




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