Numbers of disabled people employed has dropped below 1%

According to the 16th Commission for Employment Equity Annual Report of 2015 to 2016, published by The Department of Labour, the number of persons with disabilities employed in 2015 has decreased since 2014, particularly in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, catering, transport and community.

Pippa Hudson asks Therina Wentzel, National Director of The National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa why this is happening.

Wentzel says disability employment figures are under 1%. In fact she says, it is now around 0.7%.

On the positive side, she says the decrease in numbers is due to some disable people now moving into entrepreneurial opportunities and becoming their own bosses.

But there are also negative reasons the numbers are dropping.

People with disabilities enter the labour market pretty easily because of legislation. but then the workplace is not conducive because the employer has just been chasing the statistics, and has not had a proper sensitisation session, or an access audit.

Therina Wentzel, National Director of The National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa.

Wentzel says it is important that before employers place people with disabilities, they understand what it means to have a diverse workplace, otherwise these disabled employees will not stay in that job.

She says some industries make excuses which she says are not valid.

But good news is some government departments like SAPS, SADF, Energy and Justice, are excelling at creating opportunities for the disabled. She says there are also some companies that are doing sterlijng work in this area.

Wentzel encourages people to contact her to help create positions for people with physical disabilities. Contact Therina Wentzel: 083 255 6854 sms only. Therina.wentzel@vodamail.co.za

Listen to the entire conversation below:

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