The Public Protector as a mechanism of political accountability: the extent of its contribution to the realisation of the right to access adequate housing in South Africa
This paper is premised on the concept of political accountability which aims to hold accountable government for its action and or omission. Political accountability encompasses a number of mechanisms such as the judiciary and the ombudsman. Courts have been instrumental in enforcing the realisation of the right to access to adequate housing in South Africa. This paper argues, however, that the judiciary is not the only enforcing avenue because other mechanisms of political accountability may also contribute to the realisation of the right to housing. The paper, therefore, explores the extent of the Public Protector's contribution to the realisation of the right to access to adequate housing. The paper then argues that it is through its functions that the Public Protector exercises its accounting role in the realisation of the right to access to adequate housing. The paper, however, cautions that the Public Protector is not an alternative dispute resolution institution parallel to courts. But that the Public Protector complements the role played by courts by offering another medium through which such right may be realised.
Keywords: Right to access to adequate housing; political accountability; judiciary; ombudsman; Public Protector; accountability; enforcement and realisation