The theory of citizenship: a reappraisal

The accommodation of blacks (the so-called urban blacks) outside the national states in the constitutional structure of the Republic of South Africa accentuates the longstanding issue of citizenship. South African citizenship legislation which compels blacks outside the national states to exercise their rights of citizenship within the national states while maintaining their South African nationality, is generally justified by an appeal to international law. Nationality is merely a formal indication of state membership without concomitant rights and obligations, whilst citizenship implies the individual’s political participation and his enjoyment of political rights. South Africa can deny citizenship to the majority of the South African population yet invest them with nationality for purposes of international protection. This point of view has become accepted dogma. The government has declared its unwillingness to deviate from this approach. The fundamental role which citizenship will play in the constitutional development of blacks necessitates a re-evaluation of the entire concept. This article deals with the principal arguments relied upon by supporters of the accepted dogma. – Notes.

Title: The theory of citizenship: a reappraisal
Author: Strydom, H.A.
Year: 1985
Periodical: The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa
Volume: 18
Issue: 1
Pages: 103-112
Language: English
Geographic term: South Africa
Abstract: The accommodation of blacks (the so-called urban blacks) outside the national states in the constitutional structure of the Republic of South Africa accentuates the longstanding issue of citizenship. South African citizenship legislation which compels blacks outside the national states to exercise their rights of citizenship within the national states while maintaining their South African nationality, is generally justified by an appeal to international law. Nationality is merely a formal indication of state membership without concomitant rights and obligations, whilst citizenship implies the individual’s political participation and his enjoyment of political rights. South Africa can deny citizenship to the majority of the South African population yet invest them with nationality for purposes of international protection. This point of view has become accepted dogma. The government has declared its unwillingness to deviate from this approach. The fundamental role which citizenship will play in the constitutional development of blacks necessitates a re-evaluation of the entire concept. This article deals with the principal arguments relied upon by supporters of the accepted dogma. – Notes.