A few days ago, while giving a public lecture in Mauritius, I was asked why it should be necessary to enshrine socioeconomic rights in the constitution, given that Mauritius is already a welfare state. That question followed a public lecture I gave as a guest of the minister of justice, human rights & institutional reforms, Maneesh Gobin, as Mauritius looks to SA as it reviews its constitution after 50 years of independence. Mauritius has some parallels with SA’s history of slavery, indentured labour and colonialism. Its 1968 constitution sought to heal the wounds left by its unjust past. There are good lessons from Mauritius’s own democracy journey — not least that 50 years after independence, it has had no military coups or bloodshed. Seeking to adapt its constitutional framework, to ensure a better responsiveness to society’s changing needs, shows admirable wisdom. While a timeless constitution is a good thing, failure to adapt in the face of fundamental changes or expectations c...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.