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Title:The right to social assistance: the implications of 'Grootboom' for policy reform in South Africa
Author:Liebenberg, SandraISNI
Periodical:South African Journal on Human Rights
Geographic term:South Africa
equal opportunity
social and economic rights
social policy
social security
Abstract:The 1996 South African Constitution recognizes a right of access to social assistance for people who are unable to support themselves and their dependants. This paper explores the implications of this right for social security policy development in the light of the principles established in 'Government of the Republic of South Africa v Grootboom' 2001 (1) SA 46 (CC). The 'Grootboom' case is widely acknowledged as a positive precedent for the judicial enforcement of economic and social rights, particularly those in ss 26 and 27 of the 1996 Constitution. The deep structural problems of poverty and inequality in South Africa have created a crisis of immediate needs for large numbers of people. In this context, it is argued that the effective implementation of social assistance programmes combined with far-reaching measures to improve access to social assistance are necessary to give effect to s 27 of the 1996 Constitution and the values underpinning it. Notes, ref., sum.