DISABILITY EMPOWERMENT CONCERNS
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The Disability Employment Concerns Trust (Reg No I TRUST 3700/97) was established in 1996 by seven (7) major South African national Non-Governmental Organisations (“NGOs”) representing people with disabilities.
Historically, disability was considered a health and welfare issue. As a result of successful lobbying by the DEC beneficiary organisations, South Africa now has a world class disability policy focussing on mainstreaming people with disabilities within a human rights based approach and emphasizing economic empowerment.
DEC is an empowerment investment trust established to engage in business ventures in the context of Black Economic Empowerment (“BEE”). It is at once a financial sustainability strategy for the under-lying beneficiary NGOs, and an innovative programme to promote the economic empowerment of people with disabilities.
DEC’s activities are made possible by the favorable policy environment created by the Integrated National Disability Strategy (“INDS”) White Paper and the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Strategy (BBBEE). Black disabled people are one of the ‘designated groups’ especially targeted by the BBBEE Strategy. The INDS calls for the integration of people with disabilities into all aspects of society, including the economy.