Constitutional Basis for the Enforcement of ''Executive'' Policies that give effect to Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa

  • Oliver Njuh Fuo North West University(Potchefstroom Campus)
Keywords: Constitution, socio-economic rights, positive duties, delegation of authority, executive policies and judicial enforcement.

Abstract

 Although "executive" policies remain an important governance tool, there appears to be confusion on the status and possible basis for their judicial enforcement in South Africa. The aim of this article is to critically reflect on the status and possible constitutional basis for the enforceability of "executive" policies that give effect to socio-economic rights in South Africa. Based on the jurisprudence of courts and some examples of "executive" policies, this article demonstrates that the constitutional basis for the enforceability of "executive" policies could be located inter alia in the positive duties imposed on government by sections 24(b), 25(5), 26(2) and 27(2) of the Constitution to "take reasonable legislative and other measures" within the context of available resources to give effect to relevant rights. This article argues that these duties amount to a constitutional delegation of authority to the legislative and executive branches of government to concretise socio-economic rights. In addition, this article demonstrates that where "executive" policies give effect to socio-economic rights pursuant to powers delegated by enabling provisions in original legislation that covers the field of socio-economic rights, such policies may be perceived to have the force of law, thereby providing a legal basis for their judicial enforcement.

    

References

Bibliography

Adam Free Basic Electricity

Adam F Free Basic Electricity: A Better Life for All (Earthlife Africa Johannesburg 2010)

Baxter 1993 Administrative Law Reform

Baxter L ''Rule-making and Policy Formulation in South African Administrative Law Reform'' 1993 Administrative Law Reform 176-198

Bekink Principles of South African Local Government Law

Bekink B Principles of South African Local Government Law (LexisNexis Butterworths Durban 2006)

Bilchitz 2010 SALJ

Bilchitz D "Is the Constitutional Court Wasting Away the Time of the Poor? Nokotyana v Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality" 2010 SALJ 591-605

Bishop and Raboshakga "National Legislative Authority"

Bishop M and Raboshakga N "National Legislative Authority" in Woolman S et al Constitutional Law of South Africa 2nd ed (Juta Cape Town 2012) 17-i - 17-115

Bovaird 2005 International Review of Administrative Sciences

Bovaird T ''Public governance: balancing stakeholder power in a network society'' 2005 International Review of Administrative Sciences 217-221

Brand "Introduction to Socio-economic Rights"

Brand D "Introduction to Socio-economic Rights in the South African Constitution" in Brand D and Heyns C (eds) Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa: International and Constitutional Law (PULP Pretoria 2005) 1-56

Chenwi 2011 SAPL

Chenwi L ''Meaningful engagement'' in the realisation of socio-economic rights: The South African experience'' 2011 SAPL 128-156

Cloete Public Administration and Management

Cloete J Public Administration and Management: New Constitutional Dispensation (Van Schaik Pretoria 1994)

Coetzee Public Administration

Coetzee WAJ Public Administration: A South African Introductory Perspective 2nd ed (Van Schaik Pretoria 1991)

De Coning ''Nature and Role of Public Policy''

De Coning C ''The Nature and Role of Public Policy'' in Cloete F and Wissink H Improving Public Policy (Van Schaik Pretoria 2000) 3-22

De Coning and Cloete ''Theories and Models''

De Coning C and Cloete F ''Theories and Models for Analysing Public Policy'' in Cloete F and Wissink H Improving Public Policy (Van Schaik Pretoria 2000)

De Villiers and Sindane Cooperative Government

De Villiers B and Sindane J Cooperative Government: The Oil in the Engine (Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Johannesburg 2011)

De Visser Developmental Local Government

De Visser J Developmental Local Government: A Case Study of South Africa (Intersentia Antwerpen 2005)

De Visser "Institutional Subsidiarity in the Constitution"

De Visser J "Institutional Subsidiarity in the Constitution: Slapstick Asymmetry or a 'Rights-based' Approach to Powers?" in University of Western Cape Research and Roundtable Conference April 2008 Cape Town 1-34

Dugard 2010 Review of Radical Political Economics

Dugard J ''Can Human Rights Transcend the Commercialization of Water in South Africa? Soweto's Legal Fight for an Equitable Water Policy'' 2010 Review of Radical Political Economics 175-194

Dugard ''Civic Action and Legal Mobilisation''

Dugard J ''Civic Action and Legal Mobilisation: The Phiri Water Meters Case'' in Handmaker J and Berkhout R Mobilising Social Justice in South Africa: Perspectives from Researchers and Practitioners (PULP Pretoria 2010) 71-99

Du Plessis 2010 Stell LR

Du Plessis A ''Local Environmental Governance and the Role of Local Government in Realising Section 24 of the South African Constitution'' 2010 Stell LR 265-297

Du Plessis Re-Interpretation of Statutes

Du Plessis L Re-Interpretation of Statutes (Juta Cape Town 2002)

Du Plessis 2006 Stell LR

Du Plessis L "'Subsidiarity': What's in the name for Constitutional Interpretation and Adjudication?" 2006 Stell LR 207-231

Du Plessis 2011 PER

Du Plessis L ''The status and role of legislation in South Africa as a constitutional democracy: Some exploratory observation'' 2011 PER 92-102

Du Plessis 2008 SAPL

Du Plessis W ''Legal Mechanism for Cooperative Governance in South Africa: Successes and Failures'' 2008 SAPL 87-110

Du Plessis and Du Plessis "Balancing of Sustainability Interests"

Du Plessis W and Du Plessis A "The Balancing of Sustainability Interests in South Africa" in Faure M and Du Plessis W The Balancing of Interests in Environmental Law in Africa (PULP Pretoria 2011) 413-458

Friesen 2003 Federal Governance

Friesen M ''Subsidiarity and Federalism: An Old Concept with Contemporary Relevance for Political Society'' 2003 Federal Governance: A Graduate Journal of Theory and Politics 1-22

Gumede "Public Policy Making in South Africa"

Gumede V "Public Policy Making in South Africa" in Venter A and Landsberg C Government and Politics in South Africa (Van Schaik Pretoria 2011) 166-183

Hanekom et al Key Aspects

Hanekom S et al Key Aspects of Public Administration (Southern Books Johannesburg 1987)

Hattingh Governmental Relations

Hattingh J Governmental Relations: A South African Perspective (UNISA Press Pretoria 1998)

Hoexter Administrative Law

Hoexter C Administrative Law in South Africa 2nd ed (Juta Cape Town 2012)

Holness 2011 SAPL

Holness W ''Equality in the graveyard: Participatory democracy in the context of housing delivery" 2011 SAPL 1-36

Iles 2004 SAJHR

Iles K ''Limiting Socio-Economic Rights: Beyond the Internal Limitation Clauses'' 2004 SAJHR 455-457

Kirkby et al 2007 SAPL

Kirkby C et al ''Towards a more cooperative local government: The challenge of District Intergovernmental Forums'' 2007 SAPL 143-165

Klare 1998 SAJHR

Klare K ''Legal Culture and Transformative Constitutionalism'' 1998 SAJHR 158-172

Liebenberg Socio-Economic Rights

Liebenberg S Socio-Economic Rights: Adjudicating Under a Transformative Constitution (Juta Cape Town 2010)

Linder and Peters ''Study of Policy Instruments''

Linder S and Peters G ''The Study of Policy Instruments: Four Schools of Thought'' in Peters G and Van Nispen F Public Policy Instruments: Evaluating the Tools of Public Administration (Edward Edgers Cheltenham 1998) 33-45

Marquardt 1994 Fordham Int’l LJ

Marquardt P ''Subsidiarity and Sovereignty in the European Union'' 1994 Fordham Int’l LJ 616-636

McDonald Electric Capitalism

McDonald D Electric Capitalism: Recolonising Africa on the Power Grid (HSRC Cape Town 2009)

Mokale and Scheepers Introduction to Developmental Local Government

Mokale T and Scheepers T An Introduction to Developmental Local Government in South Africa: A Handbook for Councillors and Officials (Montfort Press Malawi 2006)

Muller 2011 Stell LR

Muller G ''Conceptualising 'Meaningful Engagement' as a Deliberative Democratic Partnership" 2011 Stell LR 742-758

Patel "Tools and Trade-offs"

Patel Z "Tools and Trade-offs in Environmental Decision Making" in Van Donk M et al Consolidating Developmental Local Government: Lessons from the South African Experience (UCT Press Cape Town 2008) 357-376

Peters and Van Nispen ''Prologue''

Peters G and Van Nispen F ''Prologue'' in Peters G and Van Nispen F Public Policy Instruments: Evaluating the Tools of Public Administration (Edward Edgers Cheltenham 1998)

Pieterse 2010 Law, Democracy and Development

Pieterse M ''Legislative and executive translation of the right to have access to health care services'' 2010 Law, Democracy and Development 231-255

Pillay et al Democracy and Delivery

Pillay U et al Democracy and Delivery: Urban Policy in South Africa (HSRC Cape Town 2006)

Plasket Fundamental Right to Just Administrative Action

Plasket C The Fundamental Right to Just Administrative Action: Judicial Review of Administrative Action in the Democratic South Africa (PhD thesis Rhodes University 2002)

Roux 2003 Democratisation

Roux T ''Legitimating transformation: Political resource allocation in the South African Constitutional Court'' 2003 10(4) Democratisation 92-111

Salamon 2000-2001 Fordham Urb LJ

Salamon L ''The New Governance and the Tools of Public Action: An Introduction'' 2000-2001 Fordham Urb LJ 1611-1674

Salamon ''New Governance''

Salamon L ''The New Governance and Tools of Public Action: An Introduction'' in Salamon L The Tools of Government: A Guide to the New Governance (Oxford University Press Oxford 2002) 1-41

Steytler 2011 SAPL

Steytler N ''The legal instruments to raise property rates: Policy, by-laws and resolutions'' 2011 SAPL 484-496

Thornhill South African Public Administration

Thornhill C Cloete’s South African Public Administration and Management 10th ed (Van Schaik Pretoria 2012)

Van der Walt 2008 Constitutional Court Review

Van der Walt A ''Normative Pluralism and Anarchy: Reflections on the 2007 Term" 2008 Constitutional Court Review 77-128

Van der Walt Property and Constitution

Van der Walt A Property and Constitution (PULP Pretoria 2012)

Wilson 1887 Political Science Quarterly

Wilson W "The Study of Administration" 1887 Political Science Quarterly 197-222

Wissink ''Policy Studies and Policy Analysis''

Wissink H ''History and Development of Policy Studies and Policy Analysis'' in Cloete F and Wissink H Improving Public Policy (Van Schaik Pretoria 2000) 56-74

Register of legislation

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 200 of 1993

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Correctional Service Act 111 of 1998

Housing Act 107 of 1997

Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000

National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004

National Education Policy Act 27 of 1996

National Water Act 36 of 1998

Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 (PAJA)

Social Assistance Act 13 of 2004

South African Schools Act 84 of 1996

Water Services Act 108 of 1997

Register of government publications

Draft Framework for a Municipal Indigent Policy (2005)

Freedom Charter (1955)

Guidelines for the Implementation of the National Indigent Policy by Municipalities (2006)

Lists of Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable and Protected Species (2007) (GN R151 of GG 29657 of 23 February 2007)

National Framework for Municipal Indigent Policies (2006)

White Paper on Reconstruction and Development (1994) (GN 353 in GG 16085 of 23 November 1994)

Register of cases

Akani Garden Route (Pty) Ltd v Pinnacle Point Casino (Pty) Ltd 2001 4 SA 501 (SCA)

B v Minister of Correctional Services 1997 6 BCLR 789 (CC)

Constitutionality of the Mpumalanga Petitions Bill 2001 11 BCLR 1126 (CC)

Doctors for Life International v Speaker of the National Assembly 2006 12 BCLR 1399 (CC)

Dudley Lee v Minister of Correctional Services 2013 2 BCLR 129 (CC)

Executive Council, Western Cape Legislature v President of the Republic of South Africa 1995 10 BCLR 1289 (CC)

Government of the Republic of South Africa v Grootboom 2000 11 BCLR 1169 (CC)

Joseph v City of Johannesburg 2010 3 BCLR 212 (CC)

Justice Alliance of South Africa v President of the Republic of South Africa, Freedom Under the Kaw v President of the Republic of South Africa, Centre for Applied Legal Studies v President of the Republic of South Africa 2011 10 BCLR 1017 (CC)

Mazibuko v City of Johannesburg 2010 3 BLCR 239 (CC)

Minister of Education v Harris 2001 11 BCLR 1157 (CC)

Minister of Health v New Clicks South Africa (Pty) Ltd 2006 8 BCLR 872 (CC)

Nokotyana v Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality 2010 4 BCLR 312 (CC)

Occupiers of 51 Olivia Road, Berea Township and 197 Main Street Johannesburg v City of Johannesburg 2008 5 BCLR 475 (CC)

Premier, Mpumalanga v Executive Committee, Association of State-aided Schools, Eastern Transvaal 1999 2 BCLR 151 (CC)

Residents of Joe Slovo Community, Western Cape v Thubelisha Homes 2009 9 BCLR 847 (CC)

Walele v City of Cape Town 2008 11 BCLR 1067 (CC)

Register of internet sources

DHS 2009 www.dhs.gov.za

DHS 2009 National Housing Code www.dhs.gov.za/content.php?pagename

=National-Housing-Code [date of use 24 Jun 2013]

DPLG Date Unknown iphone.cogta.gov.za

DPLG Date Unknown IDP Guide Pack iphone.cogta.gov.za/subwebsites

/publications/idp/guide%20v.pdf [date of use 16 May 2012]

Layman 2003 www.sarpn.org

Layman T 2003 Intergovernmental Relations and Service Delivery in South Africa: A Ten Year Review - Report Commissioned by the Presidency www.sarpn.org/documents/d0000875/docs/Layman,%20Tim.pdf [date of use 16 May 2012]

National Planning Commission 2011 www.npconline.co.za

National Planning Commission 2011 National Development Plan: Vision for 2030 www.npconline.co.za [date of use 25 Jun 2013]

Published
2017-05-17
How to Cite
FuoO. N. (2017). Constitutional Basis for the Enforcement of ’’Executive’’ Policies that give effect to Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 16(4), 1-44. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2013/v16i4a2381
Section
Articles