SA GOVT'S DECLARATION ON EDUCATION CLAUSE MARS THE WELCOME RATIFICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (ICESCR)
As South African organisations working to advance the rights to education, dignity and equality SECTION27, Equal Education, the Centre for Child Law, the Legal Resources Centre and Equal Education Law Centre welcome the South African Government's ratification of the ICESCR. But we are dismayed by the qualification made in respect of the right to education, which detracts from what is otherwise a moment to celebrate.
We as organisations working to ensure the realisation of learners' rights to a basic education in terms of the Constitution note with deep concern South Africa's declaration in respect of the ratification process. This declaration states:
'The Government of the Republic of South Africa will give progressive effect to the right to education, as provided for in Article 13(2)(a) and Article 14, within the framework of its National Education Policy and available resources'
This declaration is an attempt to qualify the unqualified nature of the right to basic education as set out in Section 29(1)(a) of the Constitution by inserting 'progressive realisation' and 'available resources'. The unqualified nature of the right has been confirmed by the South African Constitutional Court in the case of Juma Musjid.
We express our support for the ratification of the Convenant and our disappointment at the South African government's attempt to water down its commitmment to ensure access to quality and equal education for all learners.
For more information please see below:
Joint Press Release_ 21.01.2015