Constitutionalising socio-economic rights in SADC: An impact assessment on judicial enforcement in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Zambia
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This paper assesses the manner in which socio-economic rights have been incorporated into the constitutions of selected countries in the Southern African Development Community. This debate is particularly important because, in the last decade, there have been changes or attempted changes to constitutions in some member states of this subregional community. However, much of the comparative work on socio-economic rights in the region predates these changes and is therefore, largely, no longer relevant. Accordingly, the constitutions of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Lesotho are surveyed. It was found that the state of socio-economic rights in these countries could be divided into three categories: those that have constitutionalised socio-economic rights, those without socio-economic rights in their constitutions, and those that have socioeconomic rights as directive principles of state policy. To understand the implications of these categories, an investigation was undertaken into whether a specific category undermines the enforcement, and subsequently, the realisation of these rights.