Democracy in action: Public participation and the progressive realisation of socio-economic rights
Rossouw, Melene Cynthia
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While the Constitutional Court has repeatedly enforced a duty to meaningfully engage with communities where the provision of basic social services and goods is at stake, uncertainty about the form, extent and quality of community engagement continues to negatively impact on development projects. The much publicised "toilet saga" in the Makhaza informal settlement in the Western Cape is a telling example. This problem is partly attributable to a lack of clarity about the legal foundations and basis of this duty. The research project explores such an approach by clarifying the proper legal and constitutional basis of the right to meaningfully participate in development projects and the delivery of basic social goods, and in so-doing, to place public participation in socio-economic rights on a sound legal and constitutional foundation. The project further seeks to develop a framework or best practice for the practical implementation of this right in the context of urban development projects.