The history of constitutions in SA
What have constitutions done for South Africans in our history? Through what progressive activism have they given civil rights — and what political sleight of hand has taken them away?
How is it possible, given SA’s much-lauded constitution, that there is still a "sea of poverty" around us? It’s a question tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu posed in a controversial opinion article early this year. Some would argue it’s a question she had every right to ask. After all, it’s just over 25 years since Nelson Mandela signed the constitution into law; why have many of the socioeconomic rights enshrined in that document failed to materialise?
Of course, it’s a question that is probably better directed at, say, someone who has spent 18-odd years in cabinet, 11 as the minister for housing. At someone like Sisulu, in other words...