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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

Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate is 5.42 percent, the United Nations said on Tuesday

Unemployment rates in Zimbabwe are often reported to be between 80 and 90 percent, but these rates did not take into account the vast numbers of people in informal employment. According to a chart published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a UN agency, on its website Zimbabwe’s real unemployment rate has hovered around five […]

Killings, hunger in Boko Haram’s ‘state’

By Julia Payne — Yola, Nigeria – Boko Haram says it is building an Islamic state that will revive the glory days of northern Nigeria’s medieval Muslim empires, but for those in its territory life is a litany of killings, kidnappings, hunger and economic collapse. The Islamist group’s five-year-old campaign has become one of the […]

SA to help flood-hit Malawi

By ANNA COX and SAPA-AP — A number of South African aid organisations are preparing to fly to Malawi on Monday to help the flood-stricken country where 176 people have died and 200 000 have been displaced. A second cyclone is due to hit the country during the week. Rescue SA, a non-governmental organisation, is […]

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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.  […]



On 16 October 2014 the world celebrated World Food Day, which has become a global campaign to raise awareness around food insecurity. This global call to end hunger will resonate strongly with many South Africans who continue to go to bed without food in their stomachs. Many experts have commented on why South Africa, as a middle-income country, cannot feed its own. What is more interesting is that South Africa, […]


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 […]

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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.         […]


The importance of savings amongst her group, Kgomotso shares

The above statement was shared by one of the project participants speaking about the lessons learned on the importance of saving, at the Basic Business Management Skills and Financial Literacy Workshops. There seems to be a greater understanding by project participants about the importance of saving. Participants now realise the importance of saving whereas in the past this has been something that […]


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?