Why do we need legal compliance?

The Constitution of South Africa (1996)…

gives a clear framework in which access for all persons with disabilities is to be viewed.
The three main Themes in the Bill of Rights (chapter 2) in this regard are:


(Section 9)

(3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.

(4) No person may unfairly discriminate directly of indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.

Human Dignity

(Section 10)
Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected.


(Section 24)
Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being.

The Promotion of Equality and the Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (2000)…

Section 9 states that…
No person may unfairly discriminate against any person on the ground of disability, including –

(a) denying or removing from, any person who has a disability, any supporting or enabling facility necessary for their functioning in society;

(b) contravening the code of practice or regulations of the South African Bureau of Standards that govern environmental accessibility;

(c) failing to eliminate obstacles that unfairly limit or restrict persons with disabilities from enjoying equal opportunities or failing to take steps to reasonably accommodate the needs of such persons.

Discrimination as defined by the Act means…any act or omission, including a policy, law, rule, practice, condition or situation which directly or indirectly-

(a) imposes burdens, obligations or disadvantages on; or
(b) withholds benefits, opportunities or advantages from,
any person on one or more of the prohibited grounds.

Therefore, to start with the basics of accessibility,

the South African Bureau of Standards and in particular the SANS 10400-S: 2011, as part of the National Building Regulations,
serves as the guideline in the built environment for facilities for persons with disabilities.


Igor Rix
+27 (0) 83 703 0707

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