n South African Journal on Human Rights - The right to Social Security of people living with HIV / AIDS in the context of public sector provision of highly active Antiretroviral Therapy

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-7203



The Social Assistance Act 13 of 2004 and its attendant Regulations establish criteria for the award of grants to people who by virtue of their disability cannot be employed. In terms of these criteria, a person with HIV / AIDS receiving a disability grant, who manages her condition with Highly-Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), will no longer meet the criteria for this form of social assistance. The disability grant is often the only source of income for such a person and, in many instances, for her extended family. A number of people living with HIV / AIDS whose health has improved because of HAART are thus placed in the distressing situation of having to choose between income and health - certainly a dreadful dilemma. This article considers the constitutionality of the Social Assistance Act and its Regulations by evaluating its provisions against s 27(1)(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. Possible responses to the dilemma are considered in relation to the Bill of Rights, existing government policy and socio-economic rights jurisprudence.

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