As part of the DFID-funded South Africa Trade and Poverty Programme and its objective to promote informed dialogue on South Africa's trade policy amongst key stakeholders, TIPS in 2005 implemented a seminar series under the auspices of Nedlac. These seminars provided a platform for government and civil society representatives (business, labour and broader social interest groups) to discuss critical issues concerning the role of trade policy in fostering poverty reduction and human development in South Africa.
A team of economic researchers from Stellenbosch University recently attempted to estimate trends on poverty in the post-transition period, focusing particularly on trends since the turn of the century. Using information from more than 30 datasets, they find robust evidence of a strong decline in poverty (both in terms of number of poor people and the proportion they form of the total population), largely due to an increase of R27-billion in public expenditure on social grants since 2000.
Prof. Servaas van der Berg and Megan Louw presented the findings at the eighth SATPP Policy Dialogue Workshop in the series.