n Journal of Public Administration - Diversity management : the management of disabled persons within the SANDF

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



As every human being is naturally programmed to protect his/her interests and personal safety and surroundings, the protection of his/her country should also form part of these inherited responsibilities. It ought to be the responsibility of each and every citizen. Therefore, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) occupies a unique position within the Republic of South Africa (RSA) with its primary responsibility to defend the sovereignty of the country and all of its inhabitants against external and internal threats. The integration of several armed forces into one National Defence Force in 1994 led to a very diverse SANDF, which presents an array of unique challenges that include diversity management. It is argued that one of the pertinent challenges of the workforce, in the next century, will be the implementation of equity plans to redress the effects of discrimination in the workplace and the South African society at large. As such, statutory measures, such as the and the , state that no person can discriminate against any other person whether directly or indirectly. However, these measures aim to achieve a workforce that is representative of the population of South Africa. It is against this background that it is noted that people with disabilities are not a heterogeneous group. They may have a physical disability, or a sensory, intellectual or mental disability. They may have acquired the disability at birth, from their childhood, teenage years or later in life, during further education or while in employment. Their disabilities may have little or no impact on their ability to work or to take part in society, or they may have a major impact that requires a considerable amount of support or assistance. Therefore, given the unique nature of employment within the SANDF, and legislations and regulations laid down in terms of government policies, this paper seeks to examine the issue and complexity of disability management within the SANDF.

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