Past Projects

Inequality and Economic Inclusion

South Africa remains one of the most inequitable countries in the world, distinguished by unusually high levels of joblessness as well as inequalities in wages and asset ownership. TIPS work in this area has focused on:

  • How the structure of the economy affects unemployment, local economic development and economic opportunities. This work has considered the nature of dominant industries and value chains, competition, education and training systems, small enterprise, the informal sector and labour markets.
  • The effects of the spatial inequality that was entrenched under apartheid, both in terms of the persistence of profound differentials between the former “homelands” and the rest of the country as well as within urban areas, especially the metros. TIPS has looked at migrant labour in mining; rural development strategies; the agricultural value chain; and the scope for payment for environmental services to create rural employment.
  • Support for employment-creation programmes and in particular the Community Work Programme (CWP). This work has included advisory services on the scaling up of the CWP, facilitation of alignment between the Department of Cooperative Governance and other partner departments, and inputs into the monitoring and evaluation of the programme. 

See all research

  • Year 2014
TIPS was commissioned by the Presidency (Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation) to better understand migrant labour on the platinum belt and why the community factors and living conditions were a factor that contributed to the major strikes in the platinum sector in 2010 and 2014. The study findings were workshoped with industry and government stakeholders. (2014-2015) See research report See World at Work article

  • Year 2014
TIPS was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme to undertake a study on the impact of social and economic inequality development in South Africa. (2014). See research report

  • Year 2012
TIPS designed course materials and taught courses for the International Labour Organization on the design and implementation of public employment programming. Delegates from all over the world attended. (2012)

  • Year 2011
TIPS submitted several inputs to the South African National Planning Commission’s National Development Plan, specifically in the role of employment guarantees and small business development, inequality and economic marginalisation. (2011-2012)

  • Year 2008-2014
The Community Work Programme (CWP) is a South African government programme that provides an employment safety net. It supplements livelihood strategies by providing a basic level of income security through work. The programme was started to address high unemployment and contributes to strategic goals of government in addressing poverty and unemployment. It is based on the recognition that policies to address unemployment and create decent work will take time to reach people living in marginalised areas with few opportunities. The CWP does not replace government’s social grants programme but supplements it. The programme is targeted at unemployed and underemployed women and…

  • Year 2008
The 2007 Annual Report of the Accelerated Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (AsgiSA) identified a need to focus on what was then called ‘the second economy’, and on mechanisms to ensure shared growth reaches the margins of the economy. It was in this context that the Second Economy Strategy Project was initiated. It reported to the AsgiSA High Level Task Team in the Presidency, but was located outside government, in TIPS Phase One was to review the performance of existing government programmes targeting the second economy. This was completed in easry 2008. The project commissioned research and engaged with…