|dc.description.abstract||The South African government has enacted various labour laws intended to transform the
country to empower previously underprivileged South Africans to enjoy equal access and fair
treatment in the workplace. This legislation includes provisions aimed at promoting respect for
the human rights for persons with disabilities and to guarantee their protection afforded by the
Constitution. The challenge, however, lies with implementation of the legislation and disability
policies. While there has been a principled undertaking, confirmed at least on paper in
government policy and legislation, to include persons with disabilities in mainstream society
as autonomous and full members with dignity and opportunities, such opportunities remain
restricted, and human ability and dignity are stifled thereby compromised. In terms of the
Disability Code and labour legislation, the duty to manage execution of the Code and disability
related legislation is the responsibility of workplace leaders, ie the senior management of the
organisation. It follows that failure to implement disability related laws by senior management
means that persons with disabilities will remain excluded in the workplace.
This study explored the role of transformational leadership in the implementation of disability
law in the workplace particularly in the public sector. It further examined the role of
transformational leadership on disability inclusion and equality in the Ethekwini Municipality
(the Municipality), Durban, South Africa. Additionally, the study investigated obstacles
hindering effective implementation of disability law in the Municipality. The study is
multidisciplinary in that it incorporates leadership (management studies) and the law. In this
context, the study is empirical in nature based on qualitative interviews with employees with
disabilities and senior management (leaders) of the Municipality responsible for developing
strategies and implementation of disability related legislation, to ascertain their perspective on
transformational leadership and its impact on disability inclusion in the workplace. The
assertion is that it is the role of the workplace leaders to guarantee effective implementation of
disability laws in the workplace. Consequently, the study explored obstacles faced by
Municipal leaders towards effective implementation of disability laws.
Furthermore, the study utilised doctrinal (legal) research by examining international and
domestic instruments on disability. The study applied a socio-legal approach to analyse the law
and to understand the social impact through the interviews conducted with leaders and employees with disabilities. Thus, the socio-legal approach complements both the doctrinal
and the empirical research methodologies.
Among the findings of the study is that there is a lack of leadership commitment and political
will to include persons with disabilities in the Municipality. Additionally, conflicting
understandings of the concept of disability and the lack of disability policies and strategies
were found to be among the hindrances to disability inclusion and equality in the Municipality.
There is a stigma attached to persons with disabilities and the working environment is not
conducive for them. Disability is not a priority issue, it is merely considered for compliance
with relevant laws and targets and not to ensure their full inclusion in the Municipality.
Notably, this study found that transformational leadership is an important leadership approach
to adopt to include and promote full participation of persons with disabilities in the workplace
and to ensure an inclusive workplace culture.
The study recommends transformational leadership models that can be utilised by the
Municipality to change the status quo and to transform an exclusionary workplace environment
to the one that promotes inclusion of and full participation by persons with disabilities in all
occupational levels in the Municipality.||en_US