The Annual Ben Turok Memorial Lecture: with Yanis Varoufakis

Keynote speaker Yanis Varoufakis, renowned radical economist and former Greek Finance Minister, will speak on Africa in the Face of the new Cold War and the West’s new colonial escapades The annual Ben Turok Memorial Lecture marks the anniversary of the death of IFAA’s founder and former director, the struggle … Read More

IFAA FORUM: “Washington Bullets” A conversation with Vijay Prashad

Surplus and the Institute for African Alternatives invite you to a discussion on ‘Washington Bullets’ with author Vijay Prashad. Vijay Prashad is an Internationally renowned Indian historian and journalist. He is an executive director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Chief Editor of Leftward Books, and advisor to The Progressive … Read More

The Men’s Cafe: Can men mother their daughters?

Surplus Books, InsideOut and the Institute for African Alternatives invite you to Surplus Radical Books Store’s third gathering in our series of Men’s cafes. We are pleased and excited at the interest and traction that this initiative has garnered so far! The Men’s Café is a monthly event that provides … Read More

The Men’s Cafe: The Hidden Side of our HIS-story

Surplus Books, InsideOut, and the Institute for African Alternatives invite you to the Surplus Radical Books Store for the second gathering in our series of Men’s cafes. Our theme for this discussion is the ’Hidden side or our HIS-story.’ We focus on the question of why and how men resist … 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 pays tribute to Cecyl Esau

By Moira Levy The Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA) joins many South Africans in mourning the passing of Cecyl Esau, who will be remembered for his work as an underground activist in Umkonto we Sizwe and a community organiser within the United Democratic Front (UDF). His interest in politics emerged … Read More

Philosophy Plays Role in Thinking About Social Equality

Although it has widespread appeal, equality can be seen as a rather arbitrary ideal. From a humanitarian point of view, to relieve suffering or to uplift people living in absolute deprivation are immediately comprehensible goals. The same is not true of equality: why should an equal distribution of resources be considered … Read More

Some Propositions on the Black Elite: A response to James Ngculu

  My point of departure is the following: Does the national question have the same content after the coming to political power of the African National Congress (ANC) as before ? The ANC tradition Apartheid deliberately obstructed the emergence of a black elite and even a black middle class. This … Read More

African Nationalism in the ANC

The “national question” fifty years ago In May 1954, a symposium was staged in Cape Town on the national question. In attendance were, among others, Lionel Foreman, Thomas Ngwenya and Jack Simons. The purpose of the symposium was explained as being: “To encourage and develop a unity of ideas in … 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