Democracy & Social Justice

What we do in: Democracy & Social Justice

Inequality, poverty and the failure to deliver quality public services such as health and education threaten to undo democratic gains in the region.  In response, the Democracy & Social Justice programme seeks to strengthen the political voice of marginalised groups advocating for socio-economic rights and the equitable use of state resources to address injustice.

Old Beginnings - The political context of Zimbabwe and a report on Biometric Voter Registration (BVR): A National and Matabeleland Perspective by Solidarity Peace Trust

November 2017 witnessed tumultuous events in Zimbabwean politics. After months of factional struggles between the Lacoste faction led by then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, also nicknamed the crocodile, and the Generation 40 (G40) faction around President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, Mugabe fired Mnangagwa on the 6th November. This followed Mugabe’s warning to Mnangagwa two days before when Grace Mugabe was booed at a rally in Bulawayo. The President’s wife threatened the embattled Vice President with the call that the ‘snake must be hit on the head.’ This was the First Lady’s decisive move in her bid for the Vice Presidency in the upcoming Zanu PF congress in December 2017.

Gender & Sexual Diversity

What we do in: Gender & Sexual Diversity

Realising substantive gender equality in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe has been challenging. Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and communities in the region remain disadvantaged, stigmatised and excluded from many aspects of economic, political and social life. Public and political awareness-raising and the prevention of gender based and sexual violence are therefore core focus areas of our work. We also partner with key civil society actors as well as public and religious thought leaders to effectively challenge homophobic policies, legislations and attitudes.

Watch: Seeking Shelter

“When I ran to the bathroom, locked the door behind me thinking I would be safe, he would kick a hole through that door and come through...I had to be obedient because I didn’t want to end up dead.” With these chilling words commences a video on the provision of shelter for abused women. Watch it here...

By Claudia Lopes

Think of those the Fiscus forgot

Opinion/In the news:

In his 2018 budget speech, Minister Gigaba emphasised the need to “lend a hand in addressing society's most pressing challenges”. Among a myriad of social challenges facing our country are the ever-present, persisting rates of violence against women and children. Shelters play a critical role in providing women with reprieve from domestic violence - women who, by and large, are economically disenfranchised. It is with this in mind, that the minister's budget must be interrogated.

By Claudia Lopes, Thokozile Madonko

Sustainable Development

What we do in: Sustainable Development

Faced with on-going development challenges compounded by the imminent threat of a warming and unstable global climate, sustainable development considerations have never been more compelling in Southern Africa. The Sustainable Development programme seeks to facilitate platforms for civil society, policy makers, decision makers and other stakeholders traditionally left out of the mainstream discourse to ensure that the interconnectedness between humans and nature is understood.

Philippi Horticultural Area


Despite its importance and uniqueness, the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) has come under threat from inappropriate urban and industrial development. To this end, the City of Cape Town started a process of rezoning the area from an agricultural land use to industrial in order to accommodate the planned development.

By Amanda Luxande

Nuclear Energy: All Roads Lead to Economic Paralysis

The main purpose of this report is to highlight the different funding models for nuclear power across the globe and to show that no matter what model the SA government chooses, the bottom line is that nuclear is unaffordable, takes too long to build and comes with too many risks.

Resource Politics

What we do in: Resource Politics

Southern Africa has a rich diversity of natural resources and yet most of the region's countries are characterised by high levels of poverty and inequality. Together with our partners in South Africa and Zimbabwe we seek to engage all relevant stakeholders, from local communities to national decision makers, in order to help realise the sustainable, fair and transparent management of natural resources in the region.

Watch: Rooibos Restitution

After a long struggle to protect the rights of indigenous communities, a landmark decision has been taken by the Rooibos Industry to enter into negotiations with the Khoi and San as the associated traditional knowledge rights holders to the uses of Rooibos. An Access and Benefit Sharing Agreement is currently being concluded between the two parties based on mutually agreed terms, and in compliance with Nagoya Protocol.
By Amanda Luxande

International Politics

What we do in: International Politics

This component of our work aims to inject questions of human rights, sustainable development, good governance and gender equality into discourses around African international relations and global governance. We are especially interested in South Africa’s and other emerging powers’ roles on the continent and beyond.

A Political Fraud

Interview on the situation in Zimbabwe with Brian Raftopoulos, Director of Research and Advocacy, Solidarity Peace Trust.

By Brian Raftopoulos

Perspectives #02/2017: Putting People Back Into Infrastructure


This edition of Perspectives contributes to the ongoing debate on infrastructure development in Africa by sharing snapshots of experience from around the continent, exploring questions about democratic participation, the role of human and environmental rights, and economic transformation.

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