The Poverty and Inequality Initiative
The University of Cape Town’s Poverty and Inequality Initiative (PII) operated from 2013 to 2018. It had its origins in UCT’s long tradition of research, teaching and social responsiveness, linked to the goals of political, economic and social...
Report on the drivers of youth unemployment and interventions that can help
A REDI3x3 publication of a joint study of the Poverty & Inequality Initiative, the Southern Africa Labour & Development Research Unit and the Centre for Social Development in Africa, University of Johannesburg.
PII Seminars
PII Seminars
The Poverty and Inequality Initiative hosts a series of monthly seminars that engage with the key challenges and opportunities in addressing poverty and inequality in South Africa.
Youth Explorer
An interactive web tool providing a range of statistical information on young people in one easily accessible place.


Saturday, 23 March 2019
The UCT Knowledge Co-op: Facilitating Engaged Student Research

A recent seminar in the Emerging Researcher Programme focused on community-engaged academic work. Engaged scholarship, adopted as UCT policy in 2012, refers to the utilisation of an academic’s scholarly and/or professional expertise for an intentional public purpose or benefit, which demonstrates engagement with external, non-academic constituencies. Such socially responsive work – whether research or teaching – has its challenges, along with great rewards; some are specific to the Cape Town context, others occur wherever engagement happens. The seminar considered some of these challenges and presented the UCT Knowledge Co-op as a resource to help student researchers and their supervisors deal with (at least some of) them. 

Publication Date:
Mon, 17 Sep 2018 - 13:45
Sustainable Energy for All

Energy sources, their cost to the poor, and the impact of energy usage on the climate – these are key areas of concern for the 21st century. Sustainable Development Goal 7 sets targets for affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy, while – at a local level – the National Development Plan maps out South Africa’s transitioning to a low carbon economy by 2030. These are policy areas to which the research of Prof. Harald Winkler, based at UCT’s Energy Research Centre, has contributed at national and international levels for more than a decade. His internationally acclaimed research has shown that the costs of transitioning to low carbon energy need not be a drain on poor households.

Publication Date:
Tue, 07 Aug 2018 - 15:00
Potential of the Health System to address Poverty and Inequality

As poverty and inequality are closely interrelated with health and the health system, there is much potential for the health system to help address structural poverty and persistent inequalities, especially in the way in which the health system is financed and the level of public spending on health services. Prof. Di McIntyre, who was based until her retirement end of 2017 at the UCT’s Health Economics Research Unit, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, and her colleague, A/Prof. John Ataguba, point out that the country’s health care financing mechanisms are not realising their redistributive potential. Prof. McIntyre, who was one of the PII’s key contributors to the Mandela Initiative process, addressed these dynamics in relation to universal health care as embodied by the new National Health Insurance policy in her valedictory lecture.

Publication Date:
Mon, 06 Aug 2018 - 16:15
The Effects of Top Incomes on Inequality in South Africa

The Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), School of Economics, recently hosted a seminar on the effects of top incomes on inequality in South Africa. The seminar was led by PhD candidate Janina Hundenborn, who presented the results of a novel technique to identify the optimal method of combining tax administration with household survey data from the National Income Dynamics Study.

Publication Date:
Fri, 03 Aug 2018 - 16:15