Home / Blog /

What is the Disability Definition in terms of BBBEE

What is the Disability Definition in terms of BBBEE

Disability Definition in SA BBBEE


There are several definitions of a disability when you look in different contexts. For example, Oxford has two definitions; “A physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities”. But it is the second definition which hints at its true meaning from an employment standpoint; “A disadvantage or handicap, especially one imposed or recognized by the law”. In South Africa that law is the Employment Equity Act (EE).


Definition in EE Act


The employment equity act is a legal document that has the purpose of “achieving equity in the workplace by promoting equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through elimination of unfair discrimination and implementing affirmative action measures to redress the disadvantages in employment experienced by designated groups, in order to ensure equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels in the workforce” (SAICA). One of those designated groups are persons with a disability.

The definition of ‘people with disabilities’ in terms of the EE act is a person whose defines “People who have a long-term or recurring physical or mental impairment which substantially limits their prospects of entry into, or advancement in, employment.”


No Comprehensive List of Disabilities


Due to the nature of disabilities and the definition, there is no comprehensive list of disabilities that are accepted or declined as part of the EE act. There is a range of disabilities and persons with disabilities range from moderate to severe disabilities, as well as temporary and permanent disabilities. If you would like to see a broad list of disabilities that can by found via the Disability Secrets publication. Please note this is not a comprehensive list of disabilities and is also based on the United States Social Security benefits program.


BBBEE Act Relevance


The BBBEE Act has complexities but if we simplify it to only the BBBEE scorecard we see that it talks specifically the black persons with disabilities. Companies receive two points if 2% of their workforce is black persons with disabilities by year 5 and two points if 3% of their workforce is black persons with disabilities by year 10. Non-compliance penalties are extremely harsh and companies are liable to fines of up to R500 000.

Recent Posts