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

No protests over ‘selling the roof to pay the rent’ plan

BY PHAKAMISA NDZAMELA -  AS TALK of a sale of “non-strategic government assets” to strengthen Eskom’s balance sheet went into overdrive last week, I wondered whether the government was now looking to “sell the roof to pay the rent”, to borrow a phrase used in the South African Communist Party in the 1990s. Many of you will […]

No place for disabled children in KZN’s rural schools

By Victoria John – A shortage of staff and dedicated educational facilities is depriving many with special needs of an education. Eight-year-old Boniswa Mthembu loves holidays and weekends, not because it’s a break from school but because it’s the only time he gets to play with other children. He doesn’t go to school with the […]

The University of the Western Cape hosted a state-of-the-art experience on World Food Day 16 October 2014

The University of the Western Cape hosted a state-of-the-art experience on World Food Day 16 October 2014. Food insecurity needs to be approached in several ways, one of which is being concerned with sufficient income with which to purchase food that is healthy and wholesome and which contains sufficient calories and nutrients. Food insecurity needs […]

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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

Policy Brief 7 – Community Monitoring Report

The Socio-Economic Rights (SER) monitoring tool developed by Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) provides a programmatic and long term approach to monitoring and evaluating the progressive realisation of SERs in South Africa.1 The tool combines policy and budget analysis and statistical indicators with the overall aim of guiding policy and the implementation of […]

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?