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Who are we?

SPII is an independent, non-profit think tank, committed to the eradication of
poverty and inequality in South Africa and the sub region.

Through research we seek to develop innovative, evidence-based solutions that address the causes and consequences of poverty.

SPII is rooted in the values of the South African constitution. We believe that poverty undermines democracy and inhibits the development of society as a whole.

Latest from SPII


SADC Basic Income Grant e-Newsletter

The latest issue of the SADC Basic Income Grant Newsletter is Out. There are new and exciting developments, news,  recommended readings and forthcoming events that you should know about.   Click here Share this via: -

2014 Year End Greetings.

Dear Friends of SPII and the SADC- BIG As we draw to the end of 2014, we want to thank you for your ongoing support for our work in various ways, and for the many partnerships that have enabled us to mutually multiply the reach and impact of our work. This last year has been […]

The G-20 Tax Agenda and Africa’s Needs

By Taku Fundira from Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute – The importance of taxation goes far beyond providing income to finance the public sector, investments, and the basic needs of the population. The establishment of states is partly attributed to the tax system which has also contributed to promoting the state’s legitimacy, strengthening democracy, […]

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Latest News

Amplats drop in profit shows strike damage

BY ALLAN SECCOMBE ONCE the financial effects of transactions with Atlatsa Resources are stripped out of the equation, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) shows the full scars of the five-month wage strike at its biggest mines. Amplats, the world’s largest miner of the metal, warned of a fall of at least 20% in headline earnings for 2014 […]

Vavi: Cosatu ‘in tatters’

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has admitted that the trade union federation is in trouble, The Star reported on Friday.”Cosatu today is in tatters and absolutely in trouble. Factionalism is tearing it apart,” Vavi was quoted as saying at a memorial service in Sasolburg on Thursday.”When we see splintering, workers are set up against each […]

Corruption costs emerging countries $1trn/ year

Corruption and tax evasion are costing industry and countries a fortune, activists said ahead of the G20 summit in Brisbane. – Developing countries lose $1trn a year to tax evasion, embezzlement and money laundering.- Corruption wipes an estimated 5% off the world’s economic production.- By turnover, corruption would be the world’s third-largest industry.- Twenty to […]

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Latest Publications

Report on initial exploratory focus group research into a decent living level

The National Development Plan (NDP) aims to eliminate all poverty and reduce inequality in South Africa by 2030 .[1] The poverty line used to benchmark poverty in the NDP is R418 per person per day in 2009 prices.  According to the NDP, 39% of people living in South Africa in 2009 fell below this line.  […]


Monitoring the right of access to adequate housing in South Africa

By Hannah Dawson and Daniel McLaren – The Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) is an independent research think tank that focuses on generating new knowledge, information and analysis in the field of poverty and inequality studies. This working paper has been undertaken as part of the Monitoring the Progressive Realisation of Socio-Economic Rights […]

A Framework for Monitoring and Evaluating the Progressive Realisation of Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa

By Hannah Dawson- The inclusion of socio-economic rights in South Africa’s Constitution envisioned the reconstruction of our society – not only healing the divisions of the past – but establishing a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights.1 The unacceptable and unsustainable levels of poverty and unemployment, the lack of basic […]


SADC Poverty alongside Mineral Wealth

This paper is part of a five-year project that the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII)1 is working on that seeks to investigate the feasibility of a regional universal BIG as a vehicle for advancing socio-economic justice as part of its commitment to find innovative solutions to our region’s challenges. To date, SPII has already completed an initial […]

Spii talk2

SPII Talk Newsletter, 2nd Quarter, July 2014

Poverty, unemployment and growing inequality remain South Africa’s greatest challenges in undoing the legacy of Apartheid. The “triple challenge” has revealed itself increasingly in ongoing protest and strike action. This unrest is significant in that those without work and workers who bear the economic and social burden of the unemployed are taking to the streets. The situation has been described as a […]

SPII Annual Re

SPII Annual Report 2013

THE PAST YEAR HAS PROVED TO BE A VERY Significant one and history will no doubt favour us with an ability to gauge the watershed nature of 2013 in the coming years. However, even with the distance of a few months, there are many interesting markers. At SPII we have had an exciting year. Our […]

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Against a background of high levels of existing poverty, the cost of living continues to increase as incomes, social services and opportunities have stagnated and even declined globally and in South Africa, creating a harsh situation where the majority of families cannot afford to lead decent lives, and food protests increase internationally.         […]


Patriarchy persists and masks itself in various ways, Lebohang is worried

Reflection from the field —   Although there has been positive results achieved with most of the project participants, what I am also seeing are some of the ugly truths that are persist in our society and are sometimes go unnoticed. In an unfortunate occurrence, one of the project participants,  who is married women states […]


The latest issue of the SADC BIG Campaign Newsletter is out. Click here for more

Job Advert: Advocacy Officer

Purpose of the Position: The position provides support for the advocacy and campaigns work of SPII in South and Southern Africa. He/she is responsible for the development alongside the project leaders and the implementation of advocacy and campaigns strategies that will influence government and other institutional policies and implementation, as well as mobilisation of civil […]

What drives poverty and inequality?

How can communities meet their own development needs and build assets?

How can we find better solutions to eradicate poverty?