STEERS GUIDE DOG POLICY
Guide Dogs and Service Dogs are permitted in all Steers restaurants.
We understand that these are working dogs who provide disabled people with access to public spaces able bodied people can easily access and we want our spaces to be as inclusive as possible.
The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2004 (“PEPUDA”) prohibits unfair discrimination of any person on the grounds of such person’s disability.
Section 9 of PEPIDA prohibits the unfair discrimination against any person on the grounds of disability including “failing to eliminate obstacles that unfairly limit or restrict persons with disabilities from enjoying equal opportunities or failing to take steps to reasonably accommodate the needs of such a person.”
The Equality Court in the recent judgement of South African Guide Dogs Association for the Blind & another v The Minister of Home Affairs & another case number 16/2018, dated 29 March 2019 [unreported] held that the choice of a visually impaired person to have a guide dog assist them is a choice worthy of protection and this choice cannot be removed by another person except for a justifiable cause. The judgement of the Equality Court is authority that denial of access of a guide dog without justifiable cause amounts to unfair discrimination on the grounds of disability in contravention of PEPUDA.
In addition, article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities (UNCRPD), ratified by the Republic of South Africa, urges States Parties to take appropriate measures to ensure persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communication technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. State Parties are obliges to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers.
The General Comment 2014 no. 2 of the UNCRPD reiterates that “as long as goods, products and services are open or provided to the public, they must remain accessible to all, regardless of whether they are owned and/or provided by a public authority or a private enterprise.