In a recent decision the Constitutional Court reminded us that where there is a constitutional issue there is a new approach to interpreting statutes. The courts must seek an interpretation that promotes the spirit, purport and objects of the Bill of Rights.

The courts will apply a generous construction over a merely textual or legalistic one in order to afford people the fullest possible protection of their constitutional guarantees. This is so even where the ordinary meaning of the provision is clear and unambiguous.

(Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Communal Property Association v Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Tribal Authority and Others [2015])