The IEJ is a Progressive Economics
Think Tank based in South Africa.

We provide rigorous economic analysis designed to arm policy-makers and the public with progressive policy options to combat the scourge of poverty, underdevelopment, and inequality in South Africa, the region and the continent.

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Videos and Infographics

REFA Festival 2020

Rethinking Economics for Africa (REFA) organises an annual event called the REFA Festival. This year, the REFA Festival’s theme was “practical action towards a pluralist economics curriculum”. The Festival has also come at a...


In The Media

About IEJ

The IEJ’s core objective is to provide policymakers and progressive social forces in South Africa with access to rigorous economic analysis, and well thought through policy options, as a basis for advancing systemic change.

By acting as a research and policy hub, the IEJ builds links between the research community and the labour movement, progressive civil society and activist organisations, and elements within the state and business. Our research agenda is developed in an ongoing collaboration with these social partners, and the project outputs are made accessible and appropriate for policy work. In South Africa, such an organic relationship between an economics research institute and organisations with a mass constituency is unique.

A recent article by @GiladIsaacs & @Sonia_Phalatse also highlights how African countries have struggled to respond to the pandemic due to debt and they argue for debt relief and cancellation.

Read it here -

A global debt deal is needed, one that does not leave any country behind. It must involve debt cancellation and the recognition of the importance of social spending and the building out of public services, including health:

#PublicDebt #HumanRights

The decision to extend the Covid #Grant to 2022 reveals NB things about SA's political economy:
🤔Policy makers seem unable to respond to crises facing SA: wouldn't have happened without the recent tragic events & tireless pressure from organisations campaigning for the grant

Join tomorrow as @black_sash unpacks their research into the impacts of the Covid SRD Grant & what this suggests for a #BIG

Register here:
Report available here:

Tomorrow, an important call for building united movement towards a #BIG
Topic: BIG campaign strategy session
Time: Jul 27, 2021 10:00 AM Johannesburg
@PayTheGrants @black_sash @PLAASuwc @AmandlaMobi @WWMP_SA @budgetjusticesa

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Our projects aim to advance social justice, promote equitable economic development that realises socio-economic rights, and ensure a thriving, democratic, environmentally sustainable, and inclusive economy that places the needs of the majority at the centre.


The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered a massive blow to the global economy and is plunging South Africa’s economy deeper into recession.

Budget Justice, Tax Justice and Alternatives to Austerity

 Contributing to an anti-austerity politics and just tax system, in South Africa and the continent.

Challenging Economic Orthodoxies in Africa

Contributing to a vision and concrete proposals for inclusive economies on the continent.

Climate Justice

Transforming our economy to address the climate emergency while ensuring a just transition which protects workers and communities.

Decent Minimum Wages in South Africa and the Region

Working towards fair, just and liveable wages in South Africa and across the continent.

Economics and Human Rights

Advocating for a human rights based approach for a just economy which serves the interests of the general public.

Feminist Economics

Training economists in the subdiscipline of feminist economics.

Finance for Development

Exploring the role and limits of private sector involvement in meeting infrastructural needs in South Africa and Africa and the role of state-owned enterprises.

Macroeconomic Policy for Development and Employment

Research supporting the labour movement to table macroeconomic policy alternatives, and research for the ILO on pro-employment macroeconomic policies in Africa.

Rethinking Economics

Supporting a movement for a more relevant and inclusive economics discourse; promoting curriculum reform; promoting economic literacy and engagement with alternatives.