Monitoring the implementation of socio-economic rights in South Africa: Some lessons from the international community
Nomthandazo Ntlama notes that socio-economic rights, enjoy "hard' protection (through the courts) as well as 'soft' protection (through non-judicial institutions). The article focuses on constitutional mechanisms used in the latter context and, in particular, the mandate of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to perform this function.
The international system of reporting by governments on the implementation of their international law obligations is seen as a precedent that should be considered. Information gathered by the SAHRC in terms of section 184(3) of the Constitution, it is suggested, 'must be analysed and evaluated in terms of its duty to monitor and assess the observance of human rights in the Republic'. The author further highlights the need for NGOs to be more involved in the monitoring process and the contribution they could make, especially in providing a more critical analysis of information submitted to the SAHRC.