Persons with Disabilities Programme


Overall focus


The Department of Social Development (DSD) provides services to people with disabilities, their families and/ or caregivers, and the communities in which they live.

In the last financial year, DSD provided developmental social welfare services to people with disabilities, their families and/ or caregivers.

The Department continues to grow services to people with disabilities, including services to people with moderate and high support needs (severe and profound) intellectual disabilities. As the population grows, our efforts will include:

  • Increasing the bed spaces for children and adults with moderate and high support needs (severe and profound) intellectual disabilities
  • Increasing subsidies to residential facilities for People with Disabilities
  • Expanding audits for universal access to buildings for people with disabilities.


The Department of Social Development makes available the following services through its NPO partners: 

  • Residential care services facilities are managed by Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) who provide the temporary or permanent care, protection, support, stimulation and rehabilitation of people with disabilities. These services are provided when they cannot be done at home or in the community.
  • Protective workshop services: Working with NPOs, the Department funds a number of workshops for people with disabilities. The workshops provide rehabilitation services and “work” opportunities to persons with disabilities who experience barriers in accessing employment in the open labour market.
  • Day care centres (for both children and adults): Centres are managed by NPOs to provide day time supervised care, stimulation, structured programmes and activities. The Department also subsidises the salaries of carers and programme implementers, and the safe transportation of children with severe and profound intellectual disability at 44-day care centres.

Social work services:

  • Awareness and education;
  • Counselling;
  • Peer support programmes;
  • Family/parental support programmes;
  • Empowerment programmes – including life skills development; and
  • Programmes enhancing positive self-image and self-perception.

You can access details of funded NPOs in the following categories:

Disability mainstreaming: “Mainstreaming” aims to accommodate special needs into the day-to-day service delivery and development efforts. Special needs relate to a wide range of needs e.g. physical, emotional, thinking, motivation or learning needs.

The vision of the creation of a free and just society inclusive of all persons with disabilities as equal citizens, is detailed in the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ (WPRPD). The Department’s focus in this regard is now on:

1. ECD (Early Childhood Development) & Disability: 

Children with disabilities must have equitable access to all ECD Programmes and Facilities.

The Department is working in partnership with the NGO sector on:

  • Advocacy on access to services:
  • Shift on Policy Development: issues of disability being recognised and taken into account; and
  • Progress made on availability of Mainstream ECDs and access of services in Special Day Care Centres. 

2. VEP (Victim Empowerment Programme) & Disability

Protecting the rights of Persons at risk of Compounded Marginalisation.

The Department is currently involved with:

  • Participating in the VEP Provincial Forum to strongly lobby and advocate for access to available services. 

Programme Achievements

Some recent achievements of the Services to Persons with Disabilities Programme include:

  • The approval of the Disability Mainstreaming Strategy;
  • The training of social workers on Mental Disability and a Uniform Referral Pathway for holistic assessment and appropriate referral of persons with disabilities;
  • The establishment of Parent support structures in George, Witzenberg, Kraaifontein and Atlantis areas in partnership with the Disabled Children Action Group (a NPO run and managed by the parents of children with disabilities), and some local municipalities;
  • The expansion of Peer Support Programme services in Stellenbosch, Knysna and Beaufort West; and
  • Capacity building on norms and standards and improved monitoring and reporting process has resulted in increased NPO compliance.

Disability Desk

The desk plays both a passive and a proactive role, by:

  • Providing services, such as advice, support and resource information to external and internal “customers” on demand; and
  • Pro-actively supporting and advising on all issues, internal and external, which may have a Disability component, thereby ensuring Disability confidence in procedures and services. 


For more information contact:

Services to Persons with Disabilities Programme:

Patiswa Momoza 
Tel: 021 483 4015
Postal Address: Private Bag x 9112, Cape Town, 8000
Physical Address: 14 Queen Victoria Street, Union House, Cape Town, 8000


Disability Desk:

Jeremy Opperman
Tel: 021 483 9018
Postal Address: Private Bag x 9112, Cape Town, 8000
Physical Address: 14 Queen Victoria Street, Union House, Cape Town, 8000

Or contact or visit a local office near you.


Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)
The content on this page was last updated on 25 January 2018