This project strengthens the capacity of National Institutions established in Chapter 9 of the Constitution. These are the constitution building institutions created to support democracy and human rights in the country. The purpose of the project, which began in May 2006, is to explore the extent to which these institutions are fulfilling their mandate under the South African Constitution and the enabling legislation. The project identifies those factors that inhibit or enable these institutions from/to fulfilling their mandate. Underlying this approach is to strengthen these institutions and inform policy makers. In light of the current national debate to review these institutions, the outcome of the research and recommendations contribute positively to these discussions.
The project focus primarily on the following institutions: the SAHRC, the Commission on Gender Equality, and the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Commission. The project accesses the functioning of these institutions, taking into consideration the internal and external structural factors that affect their work. Indeed, an assessment is conducted on the impact, independence, capacity and accessibility of these Chapter 9 institutions especially by rural communities. Given the perceptions, albeit recently tarnished, of the efficacy of these institutions, the Public Protector is excelling in the use of its constitutional and legislative mandate to hold government accountable to corruption in government institutions.