The Disability Economic Empowerment Trust (DEET), formerly known as the ECDEET, was established by members of Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) in December 2002. The existence of the Trust was made possible by the favourable policy environment created by the Integrated National Disability Strategy (INDS) White Paper and the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Strategy. The INDS calls for the integration of people with disabilities into all aspects of society, including the economy.
DEET is fully compliant with the DTI Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice Rules for Broad-Based Ownership Schemes and Trusts. Accordingly, companies may claim 100% black ownership points. Right of persons with disabilities are protected by the Constitution, consequently DEET‘s purpose is to warrant that concrete steps are taken to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access the same fundamental rights as any other South African, through a wide range of programmes and interventions.
The aim is to improve the economic and social conditions of persons with disabilities in South Africa, in fulfillment of the objectives of the Integrated National Disability Strategy (INDS) White Paper of November 1997 and the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Strategy.
Our vision is a society for all, an outcome that can be achieved through an integrated and coordinated approach to the advancement of the conditions of persons with disabilities.
WE ARE A DISABLED PEOPLE ORGANISATIONS SERVING BENEFICIARIES IN SOUTH AFRICA
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Our board of trustees is a dedicated team of activists, business leaders and strategists with a wide range of knowledge and experience working with and for persons with disabilities in South Africa and abroad. Our board of trustees is composed of four (4) persons with disabilities and (2) nondisabled independent trustees.
Goal and Principles
The goals of the trust are listed as follows:
DEET’s guiding principles include: participation in well-managed, profitable enterprises with growth prospects; the empowerment of people with disabil-ities and the creation of a mainstream economic op-portunities for people with disabilities.
It is intended that the DEET should develop a sizeable diversified portfolio of investments which will, in time, yield a significant and sustainable in-come stream in support of the empowerment work of its beneficiary NGO’s
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT & TRAINING
The Trust notes from the skills audit results that unemployment amongst persons with disabilities is largely due to lack of skills and qualification, where the audit revealed 100% employment rate for those persons who had a diploma qualification or higher. Therefore, the Trust has developed proposals to the National Skills Fund and other funders of skills development programmes to fund artisan development programmes, and apprenticeships for persons with disabilities. The Trust, through the Office of the CEO will prioritise engagements with SETAs and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), to position skills development initiatives for persons with disabilities as a priority area.
ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT
The Trust acknowledges the challenges associated with the sustainability of co-operatives, due to lack of business acumen or skills amongst members and also lack of access to markets. The Trust is in the process of finalising an investment model for poultry and agricultural production in an interconnected value chain system, among other proposals, which will be managed and monitored by the Trust to ensure success and sustainability. A partnership was sought and will be pursued with the Eastern Cape Development Cooperation to support cooperatives and business owned by persons with disabilities.
REMOVING BARRIERS TO ACCESS AND PARTICIPATION
The Trust noted the importance of education and training, therefore the office of the CEO will continue discussions with the Department of Higher Education and Training and other relevant authorities to remove barriers in education and training, in the form of lack of learning mediums and communication, and lack of resources and support for persons with disabilities.