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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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.

In case you missed it, here is a highlight of our programme achievements for 2020.


We look forward to yet another fruitful year, watch this space for upcoming publications and events from the IEJ!

While 2020 was a challenging year, the IEJ managed to produce significant research and was engaged in numerous advocacy activities. We look forward to more opportunities to continue our work in 2021!

Here are some highlights from 2020.


Our first staff meeting of the year :).

Despite the difficult times we are going through, we are glad to be back and so excited to have new team members @lyn_ossome and @basanibaloyi2 join us. Here's to an awesome 2021🥂

@NeilColemanSA will be back next week.


We are officially back and looking forward to continuing our collaborations and partnerships on progressive economics.

In case you missed it, here are some highlights of our programme achievements for 2020.

Our Year in Review - The IEJ has had an incredibly busy and fruitful 2020!

In our last newsletter for the year, we highlight the work we have done and look forward to the opportunities 2021 will present. Happy holidays and stay safe.


Social security is a right guaranteed under international law. As a party to the ICESCR, @GovernmentZA has the obligation to ensure an adequate standard of living for all. In our factsheet coming out in 2021, we hold @GovernmentZA to it's human rights obligations.

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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.