About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

12 Law Democracy & Dev. xi (2008)

handle is hein.journals/laacydev12 and id is 1 raw text is: Editorial
South Africa - like many other countries on the African continent - is grap-
pling with the deepening of its hard-won democracy. At the same time many
other African countries are also taking great strides in moving from authorita-
rianism towards democratic statehood.
But, as this edition of Law, Democracy and Development makes clear, de-
mocracy is a complex and contested concept and cannot merely be equated
with the holding of regular elections. Many important and powerful actors
(inside and outside a country) may influence the trajectory of that country's
move towards democracy and towards the deepening of democracy in that
state. While civil society groups, an independent and impartial judiciary and
other independent bodies safeguarding democracy are essential for the esta-
blishment and blossoming of democracy in any given country, international
institutions such as the IN-sponsored human rights treaty bodies can also
play an important role in holding states accountable.
Whqiat is of critical importance is that newly emerging democratic states are
not only supported but are also held accountable for their actions to ensure
that they do not slide back into authoritarianism and that corruption and
nepotism do not eat away at the fabric of society. Strong civil society partici-
pation and activism locally and internationally will often help in this regard.
It is against this background that the interesting mix of articles in this edi-
tion of Law Democracy and Development should be read. While the various
authors deal with very different aspects of democracy, constitutionalism and
the enforcement of social and economic rights, one can deduce that without
eternal vigilance from all sectors of society, even states with a good democra-
tic track record and strong constitutional institutions run the risk of backsli-
ding into authoritarianism and disrespect for the basic rights of citizens.
Patrick Bond and Jackie Dugard consider South Africa's retail water po-
licy and delivery system through the dual lens of the court case Mazibuko
& Others v City of Johannesburg & Others (the Phiri water case, heard in the
Johannesburg High Court from 3-5 December 2007) and a recent (2007) hy-
dropolitical analysis by the country's leading water authority, Mike Muller.
Together they raise crucial debates around the first democratic government's
success in delivering water to people on low incomes. Several policy and
practical issues deserve special scrutiny: the implications of pre-paid water
meters and shallow sanitation for access and administrative justice, espe-
cially in cases of water emergency and chronic poverty; the origins and suf-
ficiency of Free Basic Water (FBW) as well as the non-affordability of water
beyond the current FBW allocation for poor households; and the politics of
local and national state-society relations in a context of transnational corpo-

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most