oa De Jure - Opening Pandora’s box : a legal analysis of the right to food in South Africa - research

Volume 52 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2225-7160



The right to food (RTF) is a popular concept in South Africa. Its inclusion in the 1996 Constitution raised the hopes and promised a better life for many. By enshrining a broad spectrum of (civil/political and economic/ social) rights, the Constitution symbolised a commitment and a bold statement by the state to promote the fundamental rights of every individual. Nonetheless, after two decades since its adoption, the lofty ideals of the Constitution remain a pipe dream to many (who continue to face abject poverty, endemic hunger and malnutrition). It is clear that although the RTF under sections 27 and 28 is noble in purpose; its operationalisation has been fraught with several legal hurdles. To overcome these challenges, this article outlines some recommendations on how human rights activists and legal practitioners can overcome assertion often advanced against the realisation of this right. As such, there is a need to provide policy options and legal clarity on how to enforce the RTF. To this end, the paper provides claims which could be submitted before a court or domestic human rights bodies on why government must momentarily adopt reasonable steps to fulfil its obligation under section 27(1)(b).

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