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.

Latest From IEJ

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.

📢June 2021 Briefings

Feminist Proposals on Macroeconomic Policies needed for a COVID-19 Economic Recovery: A perspective from the African continent

Get full briefing here:

Cc @GAD_Network
@IEJ_SA @crystalsimeoni @SubiBuseko @lyn_ossome

My debate with Mike Schussler on #UBIG on Kyknet 🤯
We couldn't even agree on basic facts.
Then he reeled off a litany of statistics which have little bearing on the deep social & economic challenges we are facing.

💼‍Jobs support and creation.

The Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES) was developed in response to the economic impact of the pandemic & aims to create new jobs, & support livelihoods. The PES is not being adequately financed despite its potential.


👩‍👧‍👧Reduce unpaid care work.

Reduce unpaid care work through ensuring that the Early Childhood Development (ECD) sector is properly supported. This involves providing a grant of R6 000 per ECD worker and providing subsidies to 30 000 ECD operators.


👨‍🔧 Support for the informal sector.

It was announced that funds will be reprioritised for SMMEs but details are vague and the eligibility criteria excludes most informal small businesses.

The IEJ recommends: a grant on a sliding-scale to at least 500 000 informal SMEs.


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🏡Sustaining livelihoods.

The President @CyrilRamaphosa announced the reinstatement of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant of R350 until March 2022, and its extension to include unemployed caregivers, who do not receive grants.

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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.