Making rights work: Towards broader role for rights mobilisation in challenging poverty and inequality in South Afric
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This paper contemplates a broader conceptualisation/role for socio-economic rights use and mobilisation in South Africa, which not only mitigates the effects of poverty and inequality but also undertakes to address the systemic causes. A brief analysis of poverty and inequality is undertaken which highlights the need for a pro-poor growth path that promotes job creation in South Africa, and the need for public spending to be more effective and efficient. Socio-economic rights are briefly contextualised and a number of critiques of rights discourse and mobilisation are advanced with a view to advocate for a broader conceptualisation of, and usefulness for, a rights-based approach to challenging poverty and inequality. Rights are described as a tactical and political tool, with lawyers having a unique role to play in this regard. Finally, some empirical evidence is discussed around two case studies dealing with litigation in the in the inner city of Johannesburg, and mobilising around informal settlement upgrading in Gauteng.