Read our Impact Team’s research article exploring the gap between policy and service delivery for families of children with disabilities.


Through nearly 35 years of field experience, interactions with Government and other stakeholders delivering outreach services, the Shonaquip Social Enterprise (SSE) is well aware of the barriers to and disability-specific costs in ensuring reasonable accommodation, support services and making mainstream services accessible to persons with disabilities. For example, when attending health and rehabilitation clinics the cost of transport suitable to accommodate wheelchair users along with their carers & mobility devices is prohibitive for many and leads to non-adherence to regular follow-up appointments at recommended intervals. Barriers to access to health, social, and educational services result in the exclusion of the most complex and advanced users, particularly when living in rural and inaccessible areas. Sadly, the burden of the cost of care (amongst other costs) falls on a part of the South African population that is mainly dependent on social (disability) grants to cover these costs. This also impacts on other family members’ ability to earn money.

Parent Champions were trained and supported as data collectors for this study, which consists of data from 263 surveys completed between July 6th, 2020 and August 12th 2020.

The findings help quantify the burden of economic cost for both families and Government, and gives insight to the gap between policy, budget and practice – the findings also support the need for more comprehensive enquiry, arguing that the issue of disability is affecting more than a small minority of South Africans.

Authors/contact information: 

  • The Shonaquip Social Enterprise team
  • Compiled by Erna van der Westhuizen (Impact & Learning manager)
  •; 072 969 856
  • Copyright © 2020 Shonaquip (Pty) Ltd OR Uhambo
  • Foundation NPC (Shonaquip Social Enterprise) All rights reserved.


Click on the image to read and download the full report.

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