Rustim was born with a disability. At birth, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy ad uses a wheelchair, as an assistive device. Rustim is an entrepreneur and has a achieved a Post Graduate Diploma in Disability Studies at UCT.
His primary focus is the economic empowerment of persons with disabilities through benefits of BBBEE and in particular using skill development to enable employment of persons with disability leveraged through socio-economic. His working career started as a labour research assistant with SALDRU at UCT where he stayed for three years. He then entered the disability NGO sector with Cape Mental Health Society for three years, followed by a year with the Western Cape Cerebral Palsy Association. The latter two appointments were in managerial capacities within the protective workshop industry. In 1997 Rustim was responsible for launching Altitude Workforce solutions, a temporary employment services company, where he stayed 9 years and still has a working relationship with.
For the past 10 years in the field of Disability Rustim had been part of numerous initiatives, which included the Job Access Programme of the Department of Public Services and Administration, Extrinsic, Herabai HR Solutions, Disability Workshop Development Enterprise, Status Staffing, Teleresources, Training Force, Siyaya Skills Institute, SESTO, Epilepsy SA Western Cape Branch and Boston City Campus and Business College. In 2003, Rustim had the opportunity to travel to the United States of America on invitation from their State Department on an International Visitor Leadership Program where he visited numerous disability establishments. Rustim trades as Rustim Ariefdien Consultants whose mission is to “let the Ability of disAbility enAble your profitAbility.” RAC assist employers with the development and expansion of their disability strategy.
In a distinguished career Rustim had volunteered his services to the Association for People with Disabilities, Camphill Farming Community in Hermanus, Institute for the Promotion of Disabled Manpower, Western Cape Network on Disability and the Services Seta, among many others. Rustim currently sits on the Council of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Rustim Ariefdien justifiably calls himself a “Disability Expert Extraordinaire” where his unique offering includes:
- PERSONAL EXPERIENCE in Disability
- PASSION for Disability Empowerment
- KNOWLEDGE of aspects affecting Disability
- CONNECTED NETWORK in the world of Disability
- REPRESENTING specialist Disability Services