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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Disability equality rights in South Africa: concepts, interpretation and the transformation imperative
Author:Bhabha, FaisalISNI
Periodical:South African Journal on Human Rights (ISSN 0258-7203)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:people with disabilities
human rights
social inequality
legal terminology
constitutional law
Abstract:The South African Bill of Rights expressly prohibits unfair discrimination on the basis of disability, however the Constitutional Court has not yet addressed the meaning or scope of disability equality. This article develops an indigenous model of conceptualizing and interpreting equality for people with disabilities in South Africa. It adopts the purposive, generous and interdependent approach of the Constitutional Court to interpreting the provisions of the Bill of Rights. The model of equality used grows out of the transformative imperatives embodied in key legal instruments, prioritizing the enhancement of capabilities, the realization of self-worth and individual potential, the preservation of human dignity and the promotion of individual and collective self-determination. Pivotal in this analysis is a conception of equality that understands difference as not necessarily a basis of disadvantage, but as a source of richness and inherent value. Constitutional and statutory instruments provide the legal tools for pursuing a project of transformation in disability equality. They outline more than just an aspiration of equality, but create positive rights, provide access to remedies and establish an institutional framework for monitoring and enforcement. In exploring how the concept of disability, as a ground of equality protection, can be developed and applied, the article also seeks to promote a programme of broader societal transformation for people with disabilities. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]