Human rights and neo-liberal education in post-apartheid South Africa

  • Thokozani Philemon Mathebula University of the Witwatersrand
Keywords: human rights, neo-liberalism, right to education, South Africa


Internationally, human rights are considered innate, natural and inalienable. The article offers proffers a historical account of the natural law philosophy as the basis upon which human rights are ascribed to a supernatural force and human agency, on the one hand, and to the struggle for human existence, on the other hand. The author shows how the social contract that stems from human rationality underpins global, regional and domestic human rights frameworks. Based on a neo-liberal ideology, governance and policies, I argue that the education agenda in post-apartheid South Africa does not guarantee equal access to education. In light of this, the article maintains that, despite the anti-apartheid struggle movement’s achievements in human rights, the right to education is yet to be fully realised. In the end, I employ political philosophy to help us clarify fundamental problems of education within neo-liberalism that need to be addressed in post-apartheid South Africa.

Author Biography

Thokozani Philemon Mathebula, University of the Witwatersrand
School of Education: Lecturer
Research Articles