The implementation of court orders in respect of socio-economic rights in South Africa

Ntlama, Nomthandazo Patience (2003-12)

Thesis (LL.M.)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In recognition of the socio-economic imbalances inherited from the past and the abject poverty experienced by many, the people of South Africa adopted a Constitution fully committed to protecting socio-economic rights and advancing social justice. Apartheid constituted a violation of every internationally recognised human right. Seen in this light the emphasis on socio-economic rights in the new South African Constitution represents a commitment to guarantee to everyone in society a certain minimum standard of living below which they will not be allowed to fall. As the Constitution recognises socio-economic rights as justiciable rights, they can be of assistance to those who are unable to support themselves when challenging the state for the non-delivery of basic services. The duty to deliver the services lies first with the state and the court becomes involved only once it is alleged that the state has failed to fulfil its duty. The primary purpose of the study is aimed at determining the effectiveness of the South African Human Rights Commission in monitoring court orders in respect of the implementation of socio-economic rights. Non-Governmental Organisations, involved in the promotion and protection of human rights including socio-economic rights, cannot be left out of the process. It is argued that where the Courts issue structural interdicts, which have of late been used by them, albeit not enough in the context of socio-economic rights, they are responsible for the implementation of such orders. It is also argued that the South African Human Rights Commission and NGOs must be enjoined to ensure that court orders are better implemented. Court orders in respect of socio-economic rights in almost all the cases to date were neither implemented nor monitored adequately.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Ter erkenning van die sosio-ekonomiese ongelykhede wat post-apartheid Suid- Afrika geërf het en die volslae armoede waaraan talle Suid-Afrikaners onderwerp is, het die mense van Suid-Afrika 'n grondwet aanvaar wat verbonde is tot die beskerming van sosio-ekonomiese regte en die bevordering van maatskaplike geregtigheid. Apartheid het elke internasionaal-erkende mensereg geskend. Teen hierdie agtergrond verteenwoordig die klem op sosioekonomiese regte in die nuwe Suid-Afrikaanse grondwet 'n verbondenheid daartoe om vir elkeen in die maatskappy 'n bepaalde minimum lewensstandaard te waarborg, waaronder hulle nie toegelaat sal word om te sak nie. Aangesien die grondwet sosio-ekonomiese regte as beregbare regte erken, kan hierdie regte van nut wees vir mense wat hulself nie kan onderhou nie, as hulle die staat uitdaag omdat basiese dienste nie gelewer word nie. Die plig om dienste te lewer berus eerstens by die staat, met die gevolg dat die hof eers betrokke raak as die staat nie daarin slaag om sy plig te vervul nie. Die primêre doel van hierdie studie is om vas te stel hoe effektief die Suid- Afrikaanse Menseregtekommissie is met die monitering van hofbevele wat betrekking het op die verwesenliking van sosio-ekonomiese regte. Nieregeringsinstansies wat betrokke is by die bevordering en beserkming van menseregte, met inbegrip van sosio-ekonomiese regte, kan egter nie uit die proses gelaat word nie. In hierdie studie word aangevoer dat waar die strukturele interdikte gee, soos wat in die onlangse verlede gebeur het, selfs al is dit nie genoeg in die konteks van sosio-ekonomiese regte nie, hulle ook verantwoordelikheid is daarvoor dat sulke bevele uitgevoer word. Dit word verder gestel dat die Suid-Afrikaanse Menseregtekommissie en nieregeringsinstansies moet saamwerk om te verseker dat hofbevele beter uitgevoer word. Tot op datum is amper geen hofbevele oor sosio-ekonomiese regte bevredigend uitgevoer of genoegsaam gemoniteer nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53648
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