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 FORUM: COVID-19, THE FUTURE OF WORK AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

On Wednesday 28th April 2021, 3 pm The Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA) marks the forthcoming Workers’ Day with a Public Forum that draws attention to the impact of Covid-19 on the future of work and social justice.  The disruptions created by the pandemic have radically altered the way we … 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

IFAA Forum: Teaching and Learning in the time of a Pandemic

What impact has the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated ‘new normal’ had on the teaching and learning environment? In this IFAA Forum we invite, parents, teachers and students from a cross-section of high schools to reflect on the challenges that they have faced over the last year. Topic: Institute for … 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

Rural Communities Right to Choose

Recent policies developed by the department of rural development and land reform (DRDLR) form part of a wide network of legislation and policies that seek to govern the lives of rural South Africans in relation to land and citizenship rights. At stake here are the rights of 18 million of … 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

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

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

IFAA Statement on the Resignation of President Jacob Zuma

IFAA Statement Re: Resignation by President Zuma The Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA) welcomes the resignation of President Jacob Zuma and believes it is long overdue. The public and private life of Jacob Zuma since the Schabir Shaik trial has been filled with misconduct and dubious practices. His record as … 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