“Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.” ~ The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996
FOREWORD BY THE MINISTER“Human dignity cannot be fully valued or respected unless individuals are able to develop their ‘humanness’ to the full extent of its potential. Each human being is uniquely talented. Part of the dignity of every human being is the fact and awareness of this uniqueness. An individual’s human dignity cannot be fully respected or valued unless the individual is permitted to develop his or her talents optimally.” ~ Constitutional Court, 1996
The National Development Plan released in 2012 reconfirms the founding statement of the Freedom Charter, namely that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. The National Development Plan envisages a country which, by 2030, has eliminated poverty and reduced inequality; a “country wherein all citizens have the capabilities to grasp the ever-broadening opportunities available.”
We therefore seek to create a non-sexist, discrimination-free, equitable and inclusive society that protects and develops the human potential of its children, a society for all where persons with disabilities enjoy the same rights as their fellow citizens, and where all citizens and institutions share equal responsibility of creating such a society.
The WPRPD is aligned with the disability-inclusive Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the United General Assembly in September 2015. This WPRPD is intended to accelerate transformation and redress with regard to full inclusion, integration and equality for persons with disabilities. We call on all stakeholders to take responsibility for ensuring that the policy directives of this WPRPD are implemented.
We believe that the WPRPD and its Implementation Matrix will offer both the public, private and civil society sectors a tangible platform to do things differently to expedite the process of improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities and their families.
Ms BATHABILE DLAMINI,
MP MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
To read the full white paper visit: Rights of persons with disabilities