South African Employers for Disability (SAE4D)


SAE4D - committed to addressing issues confronting the integration of people with disabilities in the workplace.


1. Is there a need for the SAE4D? Why should my company join SAE4D?

Our members are mindful that the law imposes a positive obligation on employers to employ people with disabilities.  It has been our experience that identifying the right candidates, placing them in the right environment which is both socially and physically accessible and retaining employees with disabilities requires a collective approach rather than individual companies finding their own way, and in many cases having to reinvent their own wheels.  Through the SAE4D members share their experiences, their challenges and their opportunities when it comes to creating an enabling environment which is sensitive to the needs of people with disabilities.  We believe that in order to realise the true potential of people with disabilities in the workplace a collective approach based on best practice, past experience and constructive dialogue is essential.  The SAE4D aims to achieve these goals through the individual and collective initiatives of our members.  Through our diversity we aim to build a better and more inclusive South Africa for all people.  The more members we have the better our experience.

2. Is SAE4D a government organisation?

The SAE4D is a body of link-minded employers consisting of members from Corporate South Africa who come together to share experience, knowledge and best practice on the integration of people with disabilities in the workplace. It is not a government organisation although any level of government may join as an employer and equal member.  SAE4D is a formalised networking opportunity for employers who have all the best intentions and need support and guidance from their peers in the economic sector.

3. What is the membership fee and what are the benefits for companies?  What are the obligations of the members?

Members benefit from having a trusted source of information, benefitting from the wisdom of the collective rather than the individual. Many of our members were lost in an ocean of uncertainty when it came to finding, hiring, employing and retaining people with disabilities because as a country we lack the sophistication given our history of not dealing with people with disabilities both in mainstream society and in particular, the workplace. We endorse reputable vendors who provide services and goods which will assist people with disabilities to be incorporated in the workplace. Our database of potential candidates with disabilities will assist our members to fill vacant positions and thereby help companies reach their employment targets but also to do the right thing by tapping into a previously untapped labour pool. Members commit to being bound by the Constitution of the SAE4D, attending the board meetings, participating in the Core Group if so elected and commiting themselves to creating an inclusive workplace for people with disabilities. Our membership fee is aimed at including as many companies as possible and is accordingly based on a staggered level based on revenues of the company.

4. Is SAE4D only for large companies who are listed on the JSE?

The SAE4D is not restricted to membership of JSE listed or large companies. Any company or organisation that intends to employ people with disabilities can subscribe to being a member of SAE4D as long as they subscribe to the values of the organisation - see What is the membership fee and what are the benefits for companies?  What are the obligations of the members?.

5.  Will SAE4D have a database of CVs of people with disabilities?

Yes, we have CVs available, this is one of the most important initial projects of the organisation. The networking will also provide members with the opportunity to share CV's, learnership opportunities etc. with other members. The other approach offered to members on this aspect of employment will be accredited service providers / vendor endorsements such as specialised employment agencies.

6. What does the membership fee fund?

The fees from members is administered by the Core Group for the benefit of the SAE4D and in accordance with good governance no single individual has access to the funds which are held in a reputable banking institution. The funds are used to develop a database of potential candidates seeking employment with our members, establishing best practises and policies for the recruitment and retaining of employees with disabilities, maintaining a database of Vendor Endorsements, holding of meetings of the board and the core group, development and maintenance of the public profile of the SAE4D, profiling opportunities to our members who may be interested in initiatives which they may wish to be involved and so forth.

7. What disabilities are covered under the SAE4D?

The SAE4D's primary goal is to create an enabling workplace environment - any person with a disability who is able to perform a particular job and has the right qualifications and / or experience can be placed at a particular position within a company. Both mental/emotional and physical disabilities are covered under the definition of disability - the overriding consideration for us is the ability to do the job and not the form of the disability. Of course, the nature of the disability is important in considering the reasonable accommodation requirements that an employer will need to make in order to adapt the workplace environment. Defining the term disability is not an easy concept and we as the SAE4D adopt the definition given by the Department of Labour in the Code of Good Practice: Key Aspects on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Government Gazette 19 August 2002):
5.1  Definition of persons with disabilities under the [Employment Equity] Act
The scope of protection for people with disabilities in employment focuses on the effect of a disability on the person in relation to the working environment, and not on the diagnosis or the impairment.

People are considered as persons with disabilities who satisfy all the criteria in the definition:
(i) having a physical or mental impairmentl;
(ii) which is long term or recurring; and
iii) which substantially limits their prospects of entry into, or advancement in employment.



South African Employers for Disability (SAE4D)