n South African Law Journal - Development, the right to the city and the legal and constitutional responsibilities of local government in South Africa

Volume 131, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



As the world population rapidly urbanises, cities and towns are increasingly the sites at which, and the means through which, civil and political, as well as socio-economic rights are actualised. This reality is sparking a shift in focus in development and governance studies, with growing attention being paid to urban governance as means for creating and sustaining urban environments that are conducive to the realisation and enjoyment of such rights. In reflecting upon the extent to which this shift in emphasis from national to (urban) local governance is finding expression in South African constitutional law and jurisprudence, this article pays closer attention to the constitutional powers, functions and responsibilities of local government in relation to the enjoyment of socio-economic rights and the spatial and political transformation of urban South Africa. In doing this, the article adopts a perspective that has thus far been under-utilised in South African legal scholarship - that provided by development-based literature on the right to the city. It argues that this perspective is useful for understanding contemporary urban constitutional citizenship, as well as the constitutional roles and responsibilities of local government in working towards urban social justice.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error