In 2014, the Foundation for Human Rights, in partnership with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD), launched the Socio-Economic Justice for All (SEJA) programme. The programme was launched under its popular name ‘Amarightza’.
The Amarightza programme is focused on ensuring that the socio-economic rights that are enshrined in the Constitution are properly understood by different sections of the population. The Foundation for Human Rights believes that the Amarightza programme has an important role to play in contributing to the vision of South Africa contained in the National Development Plan (NDP 2030 Vision). Amarighza, and this programme in particular,
could contribute to the realisation of this vision in a number of ways:
• Reversing inequality and poverty with reference to socio-economic rights jurisprudence;
• Building a capable state by identifying capacity gaps required to implement decisions of the court for advancing the rule of law;
• Strengthening governance through evidence based research;
• Transforming society and uniting the country through transformative jurisprudence
These are lofty and ambitious goals, seeking to radically improve the lives of all South Africans, but particularly those of the most vulnerable members of our society. Socio-economic rights are a key element of this vision, and of our constitutional democracy. Over the past few years, we’ve seen how important this collaboration is. Amidst a multitudes of challenges, the judiciary has been a bulwark in the fight to realise rights, playing a pivotal role in helping us all to understand the manner in which these rights should be understood and implemented in our society.
To realise the NDP 2030 Vision, all elements of society need to work together. All of us have a role to play in ensuring that the decisions of the courts are given effect, and, ultimately, that the rights found in our Constitution are realised. And no one has a bigger role to play than the government, at all levels. Accordingly, the SEJA programme has designed a programme to improve awareness of Constitutional Court decisions and their impact on the realisation of socio-economic rights. The Foundation has designed a series of case summaries on access to housing and eviction, water and sanitation, basic education and social welfare grants, together with a training manual which will assist government officials, policy makers, and legal aid attorneys in raising awareness of precedent setting cases impacting on socio-economic rights.
The Foundation for Human Rights is committed to working with the DOJ&CD to raise awareness of the jurisprudence emanating from the courts in relation to the minimum core content of socio-economic rights and the obligation on the State to promote the progressive realization of socio-economic rights through government functionaries at the municipal level will translate into effective delivery of essential basic services.
Continue reading below or download the full “Terms of Reference for the Rapid Response Team to fast track pending and reported LGBTI related cases in the Criminal Justice System” resource.