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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

Will minimum wage reduce inequality in south Africa

SPII participated at the recently held debate hosted by Rethink Africa on the Minimum wage date in South Africa. Other stakeholders on the panel included COSATU. The report is now available. To watch the video click here Download full Report Rethink Africa Report on the Economic Policy Dialogue held on Tuesday the 22nd of July 2014 […]

SPII reports on The Ninth Dullah Omar Memorial Lecture

by Maeve Johnson.  Constitutional Court Judge and guest speaker of the University of the Western Cape’ Community Law Centre, Albie Sachs presented in the true tradition of African Storytelling. Download full PDF Document SPII – 9th Dullah Omar Memorial Lecture[1] copy Share this via: -


SPII cleans up Newtown for Mandela Day

  SPII decided to keep it local and picked up litter along Bree Street and around Mary Fitzgerald Square for Mandela Day. In less than 30min we had each filled a full bag and had to begin a  second round. We hope that this small initiative will encourage all of us to take responsibility and […]

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Latest News

Consumer inflation slows to 6.3%

By Reuters -  Johannesburg – South Africa’s headline consumer inflation slowed to 6.3 percent year-on-year in July, below market expectations of 6.4 percent and compared with 6.6 percent in June. However, on a month-on-month basis consumer inflation quickened to 0.8 percent from 0.3 percent in June. Read full article here Share this via: -

Mugabe snipes at Zuma over SADC trade protocol

By Owen Gagare, Everson Mushava -  South African President Jacob Zuma and Namibian President Hifikepuye Pohamba declined to sign the Protocol on Trade in Services at the close of the SADC summit in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, on Sunday despite regional heads putting pressure on them during deliberations. Zuma, elected chairperson of the SADC troika on politics, […]

ANC accepts Tlakula court ruling

By SAPA -  Johannesburg – The ANC said on Tuesday it accepted the Constitutional Court’s dismissal of IEC chair Pansy Tlakula‘s bid to appeal a ruling that her misconduct in 2009 warranted her removal from office. “We hold the view that our freedom and democracy has accorded every South African a chance to tell his […]

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Latest Publications

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 […]

Policy Brief 2: Towards a Decent Living Level

Policy Brief: Participative Construction of a Basket of Basic Goods and Services for a Decent Living Level in a Democratic South Africa On 22 November 2013, Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII), the Labour Research Service (LRS) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) held a second seminar as part of the project “Constructing of […]

Budget analysis

  This review reflects the findings of SPII’s investigation into National and Provincial budget allocations over a 5 year period 2007/08 – 2011/12. Although the tax base has broadened in recent years to include over 10 million tax payers in 2010/11, tax revenue as a percentage of GDP has been dwindling since the 2008 global […]

Social Security policy review

This policy review has been undertaken as part of a broader project conducted by the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII). The objectives of the larger project are to develop a monitoring   tool to measure and evaluate the progressive realisation of socio-economic rights (SERs) in South Africa. Integral to this monitoring tool is an […]

Measuring, Monitoring & Evaluating Socio-Economic Rights

The progressive realisation of social and economic rights is central to the transformation of our society. The persistence of systemic poverty and inequality in South Africa has shown that unless the realisation of socio-economic rights (SERs) promised in the Constitution is monitored and tracked over time, their inclusion on paper might not be felt in […]

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Towards A Decent Living Level Seminar Report

The third Decent Living Level Seminar, held on the 30th of July 2014, further explored modalities for promoting dialogue towards reaching consensus on a decent living level in South Africa, amidst rising unemployment rates and a huge surplus of unskilled labour high levels of inequalities and poverty. Download full Pdf Document  Seminar Report Towards a […]

Ayabonga Cawe

The South African Debate on National Minimum Wages: A call to look at the social wage and asset transfer nexus, in alleviating asset and income inequality.

  By Ayabonga Cawe[1]   ‘We have not dealt with the fact that there is a colonial wage in South Africa. We need a national minimum wage, and labour brokers are basically a new form of super-exploitation. They are undermining the hard-won gains of workers that were secured during the days of apartheid. NUMSA will […]


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

Senior Researcher Vacancy

Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute: Senior Researcher & Research Manager Opportunity closing date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 The Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) is an independent, nonprofit think tank, committed to the eradication of poverty and inequality in South Africa and the sub-region. SPII seeks to appoint a Senior Researcher, based in […]

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?