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7 Law Democracy & Dev. vii (2003)

handle is hein.journals/laacydev7 and id is 1 raw text is: Editorial
This is the second issue of a special two-issue edition of Law, Democracy &
Development featuring the papers that formed part of a research project
focusing on the implications of the socio-economic rights in the Constitu-
tion for social change in South Africa. For the full editorial introducing this
special edition, please refer to the companion edition: Volume 6, 2002(2).
Sandra Liebenberg
Synopsis of Articles
Danie Brand considers the application of certain of the principles enunci-
ated in recent Constitutional Court jurisprudence on socio-economic rights
to policies aimed at the realisation of the right to food in South Africa. On
the basis of a review of current policies, the author concludes that gov-
ernment's current response to food insecurity is potentially unconstitu-
tional because it does not constitute a comprehensive response to the
food needs of a large number of people in South Africa who are in food
crisis. Current programmes relating to food are piecemeal and lack coor-
dination and coherence. He suggests the introduction of a basic income
grant, or the extension of existing social security grants, as possible ways
in which to address the problem of food insecurity.
Jaap de Visser, Edward Cottle and Johann Mettler assess the implica-
tions of Grootboom on the right of access to water. They analyse the
responsibilities of the various spheres of government, current policy and
legislative efforts to advance access to water, and key issues relating to
the adjudication of water rights. In Grootboom, the Court did not delineate
the responsibilities of the various spheres of government in realising
socio-economic rights. Instead, it placed the emphasis on co-operative
government. The Water Services Act provides under section 3(1) that
everyone has the right of access to basic water supply. The content of
'basic water supply' has now been prescribed. The assumption of the
institutional framework for local government is that local government can
benefit from its revenue generating power. However, the power to raise
revenue is a hollow power in rural areas. The free basic water policy
intends the provision of six free kilolitres of water per household per
month to be funded from the equitable share and internal cross-subsidies.
There are no additional funds available for the provision of free water.
This creates serious problems in rural communities that do not have
sufficient high volume users to ensure cross-subsidisation. For most urban
working class households the six free kilolitres of water is insufficient.
Legislation dealing with water tariffs calls for a balance between cost
recovery and access to basic services. The right of access to water thus

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