Bridging the public-private regulatory divide: South African mines and the right of access to water
MetadataShow full item record
In this article we explore the extent to which the South African mining industry can contribute to realising positive obligations stemming from socio-economic rights, and in particular, the right of access to water. Our hypothesis is that government, as the primary addressee of socio-economic rights obligations, is unable fully and on its own to realise the right of access to water in South Africa. Because of the ecological impact of mines on water resources and resultant socio-economic externalities that are passed on to society, we argue that mines must contribute to the South African transformative constitutional agenda by realising, albeit in a limited way, positive obligations related to the right of access to water. Our analysis is situated at the interface of three conceptual frameworks within which we theoretically embed the inquiry: the movement from government to governance and the involvement of non-state actors in governance tasks, corporate social responsibility, and human rights obligations of corporations. We suggest in the final instance that a practical way for mines to contribute to the realisation of the right of access to water could be through their statutorily prescribed social and labour plans.
- Faculty of Law