Economic Justice

South Africa is one of the most unequal societies, and emerging from its history of racialized economic inequity, the country continues to grapple with numerous challenges. For instance, Oxfam’s Hidden Hunger report found that 1 in 4 households in South Africa run out of money to buy food during a given month.

Some core challenges that inhibit economic justice in South Africa includes:

  • Threats to the social grant system on which many women rely for survival and opportunity.
  • Unemployment, ‘poverty wages’ and the fact that middle-income earners are often under pressure to support large, extended networks of unemployed people means that the experience of poverty is not necessarily linked to levels of unemployment.
  • The majority of South African’s that are unemployed are still black, young, women.
  • Land reform as a redistributive strategy remains one of post-apartheid South Africa’s biggest challenges, particularly the limits of the market-based ‘willing buyer and willing seller model’ and limited resources for post-settlement support
  • Mining remains a relatively unquestioned economic activity in South Africa; the minerals-energy complex remains a dominant feature of the South African economy reliant on low-waged migrant labour.

Poverty cannot be reduced without considering  the distribution of resources, sustainable livelihoods, access to essential services and alternatives to dominant economic growth models. It is for this reason that this program will focus on supporting and mobilizing  the movements that are promoting a more equitable access to South Africa’s resources.


Oxfam South Africa contributes to just and equitable distribution of resources, wealth, and opportunities through advocating for more inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development models and supporting sustainable livelihoods initiatives.


Support civil society to monitor, document and campaign to hold government and the private sector accountable to implement policies that enable economic justice and equitable distribution of South Africa’s resources

Key areas of work:

  • Support, organise and advocate for more effective rural transformation strategies.
  • Support the advocacy of land rights movements; support initiatives working towards the realization of the Constitutionally enshrined basic right to food
  • Promote sustainable and innovative livelihoods initiatives.
  • Build and support movements that advocate just economic and development policies.
  • Support initiatives and advocate for effective and transparent mineral resources governance.
  • Advocate and campaign for tax justice, including the curbing of corporate tax dodging and more effective, transparent fiscal management by government.

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