Happy Birthday Freedom Charter, Happy Birthday, Ben Turok!

Today (26 June) South Africa marks the 66th anniversary of the Congress of the People where thousands gathered to endorse the Freedom Charter. But it is of particular significance to those who also remember the man who wrote its economic clauses, the late Professor Ben Turok, whose birthday happens to … Read More

IFAA pays tribute to Professor Vishnu Padayachee

“…[W]e will miss your boundless energy, your strength, your wisdom, your uncompromising intellectual incisiveness in the interests of the fundamental social transformation of our country; in the interests of the masses and not an elite.” These are the words of world-renowned economist and  intellectual, Professor Vishnu Padayachee, who passed away … Read More

IFAA Public Forum: South Africa’s Urban Farming Revolution

Urban farming is not a new phenomenon but it has proliferated rapidly in recent years. This has been driven by advances in technology and global challenges that include food insecurity, energy shortage, urban migration, poverty, unemployment and environmental degradation. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization urban farming is … Read More

Kudos to our Senior Researcher Hibist Kassa

IFAA would like to congratulate our senior researcher, Dr Hibist Kassa, on the publication of her chapter ‘The Crisis of Social Reproduction in Petty Commodity Production and Large-scale Mining: A Southern Perspective on Gender Inequality’ in the new collection Inequality Studies from the Global South, Routledge (2020). For more information … Read More

IFAA Webinar: Reflections on Trotsky, Thursday, 29th October 2020

The Institute for African Alternatives invites you to join our online discussion forum: Reflections on Trotsky, on Thursday 29th October 2020, 3pm. Please read the brief and find the webinar link information below: Brief As we mark the 80th anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination we find ourselves in the midst of … Read More

Confronting Inequality: The South African Crisis

South Africa’s distorted distribution of wealth is one of the biggest challenges facing the country’s economy, with unemployment sitting at an unsustainable 27.7%. In terms of wealth, the top percentile households hold 70.9% while the bottom 60% holds a mere 7%. 76% of South Africans face an imminent threat of … Read More

Pallo Jordan On The Land Question

Since the adoption of a resolution by ANC’s elective conference in December 2017 to change the constitutional provision requiring equitable compensation for land expropriated by the state, the dialogue on the specific constitutional clause as well as on land distribution and ownership in this country appears trapped between the extremes … Read More

The Imperative for Productive and Jobs-Rich Investment

Capitalist development since the Second World War ushered in unprecedented rates of capital accumulation and structural change in the world economy in the form of rapid industrialisation. Fast and sustained industrialisation has been associated with large increases in wage employment, labour productivity, and health and educational welfare. Countries that have … Read More

White Monopoly Capital: Its Ideological and Historical Deficiency

A strange phenomenon has arisen within the national liberation movement, where some within our ranks seek to sow ideological confusion with the aim of distorting our historical and present reality. The consequence is that in the construction of revolutionary theory – which sees society as a dynamic, contradictory, and changing … Read More

Dualism in South Africa’s Economy

A number of recent speeches by President Thabo Mbeki have highlighted the important reality of “dualism” in the South African political economy.  Among other things, the contributions by the President have pointed to the fact that our people inhabit distinct socio-economic worlds, and that there is no logic or dynamic … Read More

CSIR: South African Players in R & D-An Interview with Sibusiso Sibisi

Sibusiso Sibisi is chief executive officer of the CSIR, South Africa’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. They don’t make many headlines, but CSIR research and development is opening the way for new made-in- SA technology and enterprises. Ben Turok: Is it true that CSIR was founded mainly to meet … Read More

Ideas and Power: Academic Economists and the Making of Policy

From the struggle years of the mid-1980s to the gearshift of the mid-1990s, progressive academic economists played a tangled role in the development of South Africa’s post-apartheid economic policy. Vishnu Padayachee is distinguished professor and Derek Schrier and Cecily Cameron Chair in Development Economics, School of Economics and Business Sciences, University of … Read More

Co-operatives in South Africa and Beyond

Alternative approaches to economic development are gaining popularity in many countries. Co-ops may not be considered an alternative approach because they’ve been around for several decades and probably precede the onset of capitalism. In this article IFAA Student and Youth coordinator Rekang Jankie looks at the status of co- ops in … Read More

Presentations from “Confronting Inequality” Conference

On the 28th of September IFAA, with support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy, convened a conference on Confronting Inequality in South Africa. The conference covered the many dimensions of inequality as experienced in South Africa.  Presentations were delivered by Dr Pali Lehohla, Dr Neva Makgetla, David Francis, Prof. Ivan Turok, … Read More

“Confronting Inequality”: A report on IFAA Conference

  By Michael Nassen Smith, Deputy Director of the Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA) publisher of New Agenda: South African Journal of Social and Economic Policy The Institute for African Alternatives recently hosted a conference on “Confronting Inequality”. This is a report back on conference proceedings. We believe that sharing … Read More