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South Africa’s transformative Constitution: from civil and political rights doctrines to socio-economic rights promises

By Mashele Rapatsa


This article discusses the post 1994 rights-based approach to transformation. Civil and political rights and socio-economic rights are conceived as central tenets to South Africa’s transformative Constitution, 1996. The Constitution was fundamentally\ud tasked with transforming society to bring about substantive social and legal justice, peace political stability and reconciliation among South Africans. This culminated in a new legal culture, elevating hopes that socio-economic problems largely inherited from the past would be altered. Thus, this article examines the extent to which norms and the law in the Constitution normalizes people’s socio-economic conditions. It utilizes notable entrenchment and eventual justiciability of socio-economic rights as noticeable attempt to proffer a panacea to prevailing socio-economic instabilities. It has been observed that first and second generation rights are interrelated and mutually supportive towards the course\ud of transformation. However, it is asserted that the commended normative framework is struggling to ward off the country’s social and economic problems owing to persistent poverty problem. Thus, real transformation will remain an elusive dream if poverty is not eliminated

Topics: constitutional transformation, human rights, poverty, socio-economic rights., socio-economic rights, Law, K, Law in general. Comparative and uniform law. Jurisprudence, K1-7720
Publisher: Bucharest University of Economic Studies
Year: 2015
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