ESR Review Vol 17 No. 1 2016 now available

This is the first issue of the ESR Review in 2016. It includes three feature articles. The first, by Yuri Ramkissoon, reflects on the lessons from the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on the importance of realising economic and social rights in alleviating poverty and ensuring transformation. The article highlights some of the positive and negative obligations placed on the state by the Bill of Rights and then turns to the lessons learned by the SAHRC over 20 years of data collection on economic and social cultural rights.

Ari Tobi-Aiyemo’s feature article explores the myth and reality that encompasses the study of women’s and gender issues, which are at times discussed interchangebly. Amidst the socio-cultural diversities in African patriarchal societies, she argues that excluding men’s interests by focusing on women’s interests alone may not only frustrate attempts at bridging the gender gap but eventually broaden it. Although the causes of the gender gap can be traced to a wide range of issues, ideas, cultural and belief systems, she urges that bridging it is central to societal development and that it goes beyond increasing women’s participation to acknowledging men’s involvment.


The third feature by Elroy Paulus highlights the Black Sash’s Hands Off Our Grants campaign, which was launched in November 2013. The campaign challenges the unlawful, fraudulent and immoral business practices facilitated by the current outsourced SASSA/CPS contract for the national payment of social grants. It was initiated by the Black Sash after receiving hundreds of complaints from beneficiaries about illegal deductions for airtime, electricity and water from their SASSA accounts.


This issue of the ESR Review also highlights developments at the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.