n Law, Democracy & Development - Trade liberalisation as facilitated through trade agreements within the Southern African region : an instrument in the realisation of socio-economic rights

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



Section 27 of the South African Constitution guarantees everyone the right to have access to social security. The state is compelled to take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of these rights. Consequently the realisation of socio-economic rights is intrinsically bound to the availability of these resources. Within the regional context of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), advantageous commercial considerations form the cornerstone of many of the bilateral and multilateral agreements that on a regional or individual basis have been entered into by member states of SADC. These agreements embody not only provisions of trade liberalization, but also are indicative of a realisation of the multifaceted approach that economic growth requires. The aim of this paper is to explore whether the various bilateral and multilateral trade agreements that currently exist have, through successful implementation, enhanced the accessibility of resources as a direct consequence of the economic growth that could possibly result from these agreements. In addition to this, the aims of the various bilateral and multilateral trade agreements will be analysed in an attempt to appreciate the extent to which the advancement of socio-economic rights is portrayed as a principal objective of these agreements.

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