Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Concluding observations on the initial report of South Africa

South Africa ratified and became a State party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) on 12 January 2015. Below please find a copy of the Covenant on the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

In accordance with article 17 of the ICESCR, a State party to the present Covenant shall submit a State report with specific information relating to the implementation, in law and in fact, of articles 1 to 15 of the Covenant, taking into account the general comments of the Committee, as well as information on recent developments in law and practice affecting the full realization of the rights recognized in the Covenant. The initial report is submitted two years after becoming a State party and the next periodic report after five years.  The report is submitted to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), a body of 18 independent experts that monitors implementation of the ICESCR by its States parties.

A report to the CESCR should indicate;

  1. Whether the State party has adopted a national framework law, policies and strategies for the implementation of each Covenant right, identifying the resources available for that purpose and the most cost-effective ways of using such resources;
  2. Any mechanisms in place to monitor progress towards the full realization of the Covenant rights, including identification of indicators and related national benchmarks in relation to each Covenant right;
  3. Mechanisms in place to ensure that a State party’s obligations under the Covenant are fully taken into account in its actions as a member of international organizations and international financial institutions, as well as when negotiating and ratifying international agreements, in order to ensure that economic, social and cultural rights, particularly of the most disadvantaged and marginalized groups, are not undermined;
  4. The incorporation and direct applicability of each Covenant right in the domestic legal order, with reference to specific examples of relevant case law;
  5. The judicial and other appropriate remedies in place enabling victims to obtain redress in case their Covenant rights have been violated;
  6. Structural or other significant obstacles arising from factors beyond the State party’s control which impede the full realization of the Covenant rights;
  7. Statistical data on the enjoyment of each Covenant right, disaggregated by age, gender, ethnic origin, urban/rural population and other relevant status, on an annual comparative basis;

South Africa submitted its initial report to the Committee on 25th April 2017. Please find below a copy of the initial report submitted by South Africa.

The CESCR considered the initial report of South Africa on the implementation of the ICESCR at its 42nd, 43rd and 44th meetings held on 2nd and 3rd October 2018. It adopted the following concluding observations at its 58th meeting, held on 12 October 2018.Please find below a copy of the concluding observations.