Whilst adjudicating socio-economic cases brought before it, the Constitutional Court has stated more than once that the minimum core concept devised by international law is not applicable when interpreting socio-economic rights in the South African Constitution. Based on the qualified nature of the rights previously interpreted by the Constitutional Court, this article accepts and views as correct the previous denial of the minimum core concept. However, it proceeds to argue that when interpreting socio-economic rights provided by the South African constitution, the minimum core concept ought to be regarded as applicable only when interpreting section 29 and section 29 (1) (a) ought to be regarded as a minimum core standard of the right to education. By accepting, in the Juma musjid case, that basic education is an unqualified right with immediate enforceability unlike other socio-economic rights previously brought before it, the Constitutional Court also accepted that section 29 (1) (a) is the minimum fulfilment of the right to education. This article argues that section 29 (1) (a) is government’s immediate obligation, a right that can be claimed immediately, a level to which the government should endeavour to go up to, and therefore a minimum fulfilment of section 29.

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