After the first democratic elections in 1994 and South Africa’s transition into democracy, the disability sector elected not to follow the Americans in having a “Disability Act”.
Through a consultative process with the disability sector, the government then developed the Integrated National Disability Strategy (INDS) document. This policy provided the backbone for integrating the rights of persons with disabilities into mainstream legislation, and policies of all departments.
Since democracy in 1994 and changes in legislation, the NCPPDSA is of the opinion that South Africa currently has the best set of legislation which is not discriminatory, barrier free and is inclusive of persons with disabilities. It is however noted, that South Africa falls short in the implementation of this legislation in terms of providing true equality for persons with disabilities.
During the tenure of President Nelson Mandela, “disability” was placed in the Office on the Status of Disabled People (OSDP) which was a direct focus area for government. “Disability” was later moved to the Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, during the first term of current President Jacob Zuma. This move lowered the status of persons with disabilities in the eyes of various departments and the general public and created the perception that disability was no longer a presidential priority.