A panoramic view of the social security and social protection provisioning in Lesotho
Social security is one of the most important areas of social policy.As part of its social policy, the government of Lesotho has promulgated various pieces of legislation and introduced an assortment of public assistance programmes for the benefit of the people of the country. There are also various informal social security measures which are the result of coordinated activities by individuals and groupings in Lesotho. These initiatives together provide a broad spectrum of social security provisioning for the people of Lesotho. This article sets out to discuss the said social security provisioning measures and appraises the efficacy of their interventions. Lesotho is a constitutional state. The Constitution of Lesotho came into force on 2 April 1993. It provides for a Bill of Rights as well as principles of state policy. There is, however, no express provision in the Constitution for a right to social security. This is regrettable. Thus, the intersection between constitutional law and social security within the context of Lesotho can be achieved only through the interpretation of the fundamental rights as well as the principles of state policy provided in the Constitution. While the provisions relating to fundamental rights help to establish entitlements to social security, the principles of state policy play an important role in giving direction to service delivery. Understanding the link between the various governmental and social initiatives is crucial if interventions are to be designed which will enhance the provision of social security for the benefit of the people of Lesotho.
KEYWORDS: Social security provisioning; 1993 Lesotho Constitution; the Bill of Rights; principles of state policy; social legislation; informal social security.