Human Rights Law Review
South African Constitutional Court, housing rights, engagement, Olivia Road, Joe Slovo
The Constitutional Court of South Africa's "engagement remedy," at its core, is a simple requirement that government consult with residents before evicting them, as engagement offers a creative and flexible tool for advocates of socio-economic rights to enforce these provisions through both political and legal channels. Absent adequate court oversight, engagement can easily turn into nothing more than a requirement that government inform residents of its redevelopment plans. The Constitutional Court in Joe Slovo recognised these two ‘faces' of engagement and strengthened the remedy by adding components that increase the transparency of the process and enhance court control. This note first describes the engagement remedy, briefly summarises the key features of the Joe Slovo litigation and then analyses the innovations that the Constitutional Court introduced in its decision.
Brian Ray, Residents of Joe Slovo Community v Thubelisha Homes and Others: The Two Faces of Engagement, 10 Human Rights Law Review 360 (2010)