The exclusion of Africans, women and the disabled from employment and active participation in the economy, has until recent years been a defining characteristic of the South African private and public sectors. As far back as the founding of the Union of South Africa in 1910, laws were passed to improve the lot of the White minority at the expense of other population groups. Blacks, women and the disabled were considered second class citizens not deserving equal and fair treatment in employment or any other vital aspect of life. The post-1994 democratically elected government inherited the negative legacy
of apartheid and thus found itself responsible for correcting the many societal injustices and imbalances of the past. This article investigates the progress made by the post-apartheid government, if any, in promulgating and implementing policies to address the imbalances of the past. More specifically, the focus of the article is on assessing the effectiveness with which the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (no. 55 of 1998) is being implemented in the public service. The study demonstrates that progress has been made in employing Blacks and women, but not in employing the disabled. Possible causes and remedies to address the poor representation of disabled persons in the public service were also addressed. The former National Department of Agriculture is used as a practical case study to add empirical evidence in support of literature
survey and anecdotal data.