Edgar Pieterse and Mirjam van Donk focus on the question whether the post-apartheid South African state has the organisational and political capability to to ensure the progressive realisation of socio-economic rights. However, the issue of state capability cannot be delinked from civil society activism to use and expand the political space to advance the fulfilment of those rights.

Reviewing these issues in the context of specific episodes in South Africa's transition, the paper concludes that there are serious limitations in state capability to articulate a coherent policy agenda on integrated development and translate it into a programme of implementation. It also concludes that few recent civil society campaigns have been able to combine effective mobilisation with the promotion of delivery of socio-economic rights.

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