The Potential Relevance of Belgian Minority Protection for South Africa

  • André Alen
  • Kristien Henrard orcid logo


This paper focusses on the Belgian constitutional and legal regulations which are clearly and relatively directly linked to minority protection as welt as their relevance for South Africa by way of analogy, taking into account South Africa's specific circumstances.
Generally, what seems to be highly relevant for South Africa is the different kind of solutions in Belgium for its three categories of minorities as related to a different degree of territorial concentration. Going from an emphasis on territorial federalism, providing autonomy, for the highly territorial concentrated linguistic groups, over the use of the relative concentrations of the ideological and philosophical groups in certain federated entities, to a combination of individual human rights and group rights without a territorial  connection whatsoever for the religious groups which are highly dispersed throughout the country.
An analogous differentiation ofseveral types ofminority protection could be
divised in South Africa as the genera! lack of territoria! concentration of the
country's several population groups bas a different degree for the ethnic/linguistic groups as compared to the religious ones.

How to Cite:

Alen, A. & Henrard, K., (1998) “The Potential Relevance of Belgian Minority Protection for South Africa”, Res Publica 40(1), 41-58. doi:

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Published on
30 Mar 1998
Peer Reviewed