The discourses on the right to housing in Gauteng Province, 1994-2008.

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dc.contributor.author Thomas, Christopher Gerald
dc.date.accessioned 2010-05-25T09:15:57Z
dc.date.available 2010-05-25T09:15:57Z
dc.date.issued 2010-05-25T09:15:57Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/8141
dc.description.abstract The post-apartheid government of 1994 is a product of the ‘Age of Rights’. Statemaking processes and the exercise of state powers is managed by the rule of law based on a constitution. Constitutionally recognised rights, and rights protection institutions, animate a transition from a legacy of Black political exclusion and underdevelopment. Intensifying class stratification and inequality constrain Black’s formal realisation of citizenship rights, placing great pressure on creative interpretation of constitutionally legitimated claims. My thesis examines the rights discourse informing the Constitution, particularly issues about the realisation of social and economic rights. I examine the unfolding of discourses on the right to housing between 1994 to 2008, to illustrate of the complexity of the discourse. Episodic housing protests suggest significant degrees of alienation, marginalisation, and disappointment with expectations of citizenship and the non-realisation of social and economic rights. Housing rights is an issue that will affect the democratic consolidation and political stability prospects of the new political order. I examine the interface between macro-economic policies, budgets, and the realisation of housing rights, and assess the impact of an identifiable configuration of forces expected to play important roles in realising a rights culture and broadening the discourse. My study draws on a spectrum of qualitative, interpretive, and analysis of discourse approaches, using data from: published articles, annual reports and archives, speeches, court proceedings and statements, interviews with persons whose scope of activities impact the unfolding of the concerned rights, namely, representatives of government departments, private sector developers, financing institutions, and civil society formations. My main findings are that few actors in the configuration support the view that the Constitution should be changed to make explicit the state’s obligations on the realisation of social and economic rights. Nevertheless, there are isolated cases of people expressing an absolute entitlement sense of rights --- the state should deliver when demands are made. My conclusions are that considerable political unrest about non-realisation of these rights will persist, but will not cause a collapse of the post-1994 political institutions and processes. More likely, political actors, legal scholars and jurists, will persistently engage the prevailing rights discourse and the variety of institutions acting towards their realisation, without effecting drastic changes to these, but always invoking positions about how they still are suited for a post-apartheid transformation project yet need critical interrogation and improvisation. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Apartheid en_US
dc.subject Transition en_US
dc.subject Citizenship en_US
dc.subject Rights discourse en_US
dc.subject Constitution en_US
dc.subject Socio-economic rights en_US
dc.subject Inequality en_US
dc.subject Redistribution en_US
dc.subject Configuration of institutions en_US
dc.subject Promoting rights en_US
dc.subject Right of access to adequate housing en_US
dc.subject Qualification of rights en_US
dc.subject Fiscal limits on state capacities en_US
dc.subject Available resources en_US
dc.title The discourses on the right to housing in Gauteng Province, 1994-2008. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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    Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of the Witwatersrand, 1972.

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