A renewed argument for the designation of Social Security Law as a module in the LLB curriculum

Kitty Malherbe, Swikani Ncube

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s response thereto has shifted socio-economic rights to the forefront of the nation’s attention. Social security measures formed the vanguard of measures to address the dire economic consequences of the lockdown and subsequent restrictions on breadwinners and their dependants. More than two years after the government’s temporary interventions, the discourse has morphed into a debate on the need and viability of more comprehensive and long-term measures. All the proposed measures–whether it be a national social security fund, national health insurance or even a basic income grant–point towards social security becoming ubiquitous in South Africa. However, very few LLB graduates have been exposed to the Social Security Law module as part of their law degree. This underscores the need for equipping LLB graduates with the fundamentals of this branch of law. This article makes three arguments. First, it argues for the inclusion of the Social Security Law module in the LLB curriculum of all law faculties in the country, preferably as a core module. Second, it posits that it is time, almost 30 years into the country’s democracy, to shift our attention towards an aggressive pursuit of socio-economic rights, and in doing so, there is a corresponding need to equip LLB graduates with the tools to play a meaningful role in the country’s transformation agenda. Finally, the article makes a case for the creation of an association of Social Security Law teachers to ensure, among others, the sharing of expertise and the provision of support and guidance to faculties and colleagues who wish to introduce Social Security Law as an LLB module.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-188
Number of pages18
JournalSouth African Journal on Human Rights
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • graduate attributes
  • LLB curriculum
  • Social security law
  • socio-economic rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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