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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

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SADC BIG 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 for more Share this via: -

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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 […]

Op-Ed: Hunger in the Land of Enough

By ISOBEL FRYE Despite being a middle-income country, South Africa has a long and shameful history of those in power ignoring the needs and the interests of the majority. Colonial and subsequent Apartheid laws reduced black people in South Africa to merely being cheap labour to service the needs of these economies. Poverty, inequality and […]

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Latest News

Populism stoked by poverty

Of the 10 southern African nations that have gained independence or escaped apartheid, eight are still ruled by the party that gained power. According to an Agence France-Presse report, South Africa’s ANC or Namibia’s SWAPO have managed to brush off communists, freemarketeers, and tribal or clique-based rivals, but now they might face a tidal wave […]

EFF is living up to its promise of unsettling ANC

BY NATASHA MARRIAN WHAT are the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) aiming to achieve with their chaotic entrance into Parliament, which has been hailed and reviled in equal measure by different sections of society? A glimpse of the EFF’s endgame was evident in its year-end statement last year, when it closed the year of its launch […]

Mugabe denounces ‘evil machinations’ by US, EU in Zimbabwe

BY RODRIGO CAMPOS Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe told the United Nations on Thursday his country is the target of “evil” actions that are hurting its economy and people as the West seeks to oust him. Mr Mugabe said Zimbabwe “has become a victim of the evil machinations of Western countries, namely the United States of […]

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Latest Publications

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Decent Living Level Presentations 30 July 2014

Download Presentation by Isobel Frye Decent Living Level SPII Presentation Download Presentation by Neil Coleman NEDLAC JULY 2014Towards a National Minimum Wage and a DecentLL   Download Presentation by Michael Noble  Presentation for SPII DLL workshop by Michael Noble

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Charity or justice?

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.” Nelson Mandela  by Sophie Plagerson[1] In 2005, President Mandela spoke these words to a crowd gathered in Trafalgar Square, London, campaigning for the end of poverty. As I was recently reminded of the quote, I mentally replaced the words ‘overcoming poverty’ with […]

SADC BIG NEWSLETTER ISSUE 3

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

Researcher Position for Socio-Economic Rights Monitoring Project

SPII seeks to appoint a Researcher for the Socio-Economic Rights Monitoring Project, based in Newtown, Johannesburg. The Researcher will play an important role in the development of socio-economic rights monitoring tools and frameworks in South Africa. This is a one-year fixed-term contract position renewable dependent on funding. Preference will be given to South African candidates, […]

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?