What is at stake is more than one’s right to earn a living, important though that is.  Freedom to choose a vocation is intrinsic to the nature of a society based on human dignity as contemplated by the Constitution.  One’s work is part of one’s identity and is constitutive of one’s dignity.  Every individual has a right to take up any activity which he or she believes himself or herself prepared to undertake as a profession and to make that activity the very basis of his or her life.  And there is a relationship between work and the human personality as a whole.  “It is a relationship that shapes and completes the individual over a lifetime of devoted activity; it is the foundation of a person’s existence”.

Ngcobo J in Affordable Medicines Trust v Minister of Health of RSA 2005 (6) BCLR 529 (CC) at para [59].