The car guarding phenomenon is an economic activity that has grown sporadically over the past few years without any form of government assistance. This phenomenon has grown from strength to strength over the years without any sign of slowing down. It can therefore be inferred that income made from the practice is sufficient to motivate individuals to make a career out of it. However, despite car guards earning a source of income, however uncertain, they live in poverty. Hernando De Soto attributes this to restrictive legal processes in place that hinder informal workers from fully accessing the gains that come with formalised employment. This mini-dissertation aims to integrate the fields of human rights law and finance to argue that, because car guards are locked out of the formal economy, they have no accesses to financial products like saving accounts through which they can better absorb the effect of future unforeseen eventualities therefore improving their livelihoods. This mini-dissertation argues that this situation constitutes a violation of their right to development. The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights calls for “creating a favourable environment” where people can take advantage of available resources and thus achieve their own development. Not only is South Africa a state party to the African Charter, it is hailed as having one of the most progressive Constitutions in the world on the basis of it including most of the human rights laws. However, in South Africa, car guards still live in deep poverty with little opportunity for improvement. Therefore, this mini-dissertation calls upon the government of South African to create a favourable environment that recognises car guarding as a formal profession by formalising the trade. Furthermore, it argues that legislation making saving a right should be passed. Lastly, government should support programmes geared towards encouraging saving among low income individuals.
Mini-dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2015.