DIE ROL VAN WAARDES IN DIE PROSES VAN KONSTITUSIONELE HERVORMING

W P Esterhuyse

Abstract


THE ROLE OF VALUES IN THE PROCESS OF CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM

In the constitutional debate currently taking place in South Africa, a point raised more often than not, is that the “values of Christian civilisation” should be central to the process of constitutional reform. The author defines “civilisation” as something which has been acquired by mankind, usually called the quality of life.

Putting a premium on values of civilisation and acquisition entails deliberate efforts to distribute opportunities and civilised values evenly, particularly where statutory and structural factors previously prevented such distribution.

Seen from a moral point of view, and in the light of what is required by justice and civilised values, this situation should be remedied by a programme of constitutional reform. The disadvantaged members of society should also be given the chance to benefit from opportunities, and the author suggests that the Old Testament idea of “reparation payments” be introduced as part of a social policy of redistribution.

The crucial question South Africa is facing is not how power should be retained of acquired, but how a legitimate constitutional dispensation can be brought about. The choice for the latter option implies a choice for a process of negotiation in which consensus on basic values is sought.

Keywords


Constitutional debate; South Africa; Values of Christian civilisation; Constitutional reform; Quality of life; Reparation payments

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/18-0-1940

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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