The effectiveness and predictability of social security lawConstitutional perspectives from the Republic of South Africa

Authored by: Letlhokwa George Mpedi

The Routledge Handbook of African Law

Print publication date:  November  2021
Online publication date:  November  2021

Print ISBN: 9780815350682
eBook ISBN: 9781351142366
Adobe ISBN:


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The chapter seeks to critically reflect on the impact of the South African Constitution on the effectiveness and predictability of social security legislation in South Africa, from historical, theoretical, and practical perspectives. The chapter reviews the importance of a human rights and value-based approaches in ensuring that social security legislation is effective and predictable by reflecting on the values embodied in the Constitution (for example, ubuntu, human dignity, non-racialism and non-sexism, and supremacy of the Constitution), as well as fundamental rights contained in the Bill of Rights (such as equality, human dignity, life, access to social security, just administrative action, access to courts, and enforcement of rights). It also analyzes the pitfalls and challenges facing efforts such as judicial review to ensure that social security legislation is effective and predictable. These include the inaccessibility of social security legislation due to such factors as its non-publication in all 11 official languages. The failure to meaningfully address the aforementioned issues and challenges will invariably undermine the effectiveness, predictability, and access to the rights and benefits provided by the social security legislation. This discussion is followed by perspectives on how to remedy the pitfalls and challenges identified.

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