Economic Justice

SACSIS promotes the principle of just economies. We are opposed to economic development that violates social and economic rights and increases inequalities in the pursuit of economic growth.

The Unemployment Problem Is Not Due to Foreigners

Picture: Brookings Institution Saliem Fakir - South Africa’s unemployment problem has been persistent since 1994 and long before the migration of Africans from elsewhere making their way south. Foreigners do not occupy all the formal jobs that the South African economy creates because there would have to be good reasons for employing foreigners in the formal sector due to our labour laws, immigration policies and employment equity rules. Those employed in the formal sector constitute about 4% of the formal workforce. Where...

An Employment Contract that Violates Human Rights

Picture: OSG Global Issues Blog Anna Majavu - May Day 2015 has just been observed and celebrated by the global community, but around the world, including here in South Africa, hundreds of thousands of workers are toiling under “zero hours” contracts where they can get jobs, but never actually work or be paid. Under zero hours’ contracts, workers have to guarantee their availability to employers, but in effect remain on unpaid standby all week waiting to be called to work. A zero hours contract worker may eventually only...

Time for Change in South Africa's Labour Movement

Picture: Expelled General Secretary of COSATU Zwelinzima Vavi, courtesy GovernmentZa/flickr Steven Friedman - If that well-worn cliché about never wasting a crisis applies to anything, it is the labour movement today. Contrary to some current rhetoric, the movement does not need to return to what it was: it needs to become something different. Deepening tensions in Cosatu, which saw the departure of the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) and now general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, have inevitably conjured up nostalgia for its past. As the Cosatu central executive abandons internal...

The Death of International Development

Picture: The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation and Bono Jason Hickel - International development is in serious crisis. Charities are worried about the fact that public support for development is waning – that people just don’t seem to ‘buy it’ any more. According to a recent report by the development umbrella group Bond, ‘Efforts to eradicate poverty appear to many members of the public to have failed, and scepticism about the effectiveness of aid and global development initiatives has risen.’ People are less and less likely...

Eight Ways to Reduce Global Inequality

Picture: Right Speak Nick Galasso & Marjorie Wood - Extreme economic inequality is corrosive. It makes poverty reduction harder, hurts our economies, and drives conflict and violence. Reversing this trend presents a significant challenge, but one where we’ve seen some progress. Below we offer eight ways to move the world forward in reducing global inequality. 1. A Check on Illicit Outflows In developing countries, inadequate resourcing for health, education, sanitation, and investment in the poorest citizens drives extreme...

Minister Nene's Budget 2015 Exposes South Africa's Poor Economic Policymaking Agenda

Picture: South Africa Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, in his inaugural budget speech, offers this piece of wisdom, “The challenge of governance is to choose wisely between competing alternatives.”  This takeaway statement is as true of Minister Nene’s inaugural budget speech, as it is about each of his predecessors. However, underlying these choices is deep polarisation in South Africa. On the one hand, mainstream commentators from financial institutions are praising a lower than expected...