In the Media

Plains packaging: Young Africans are lighting up at an alarming rate

23 July 2016 | The Economist 

In most countries, the percentage of the population that smokes cigarettes has shrunk since 2000. Most of the exceptions are in Africa. According to data collected by the World Health Organisation (WHO), smoking rates have increased in only 27 countries over the past 15 years; 17 are in Africa. Congo-Brazzaville has witnessed the most staggering spike: 22% of its people admitted to smoking regularly in 2015, up from 6% in 2000. Nearly half of Congolese men now light up. The share of smokers in Cameroon more than doubled in the same period as well, from 7% to 22%. Read more...


'South Africa is still a deeply traumatised country'

8 June 2016  |  Eyewitness News

Former Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Yasmin Sookasays 20 years after the first hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), South Africa is still a deeply traumatised country. Sooka is one of 13 former commissioners interviewed by Eyewitness News for a special series of podcasts, focusing on the state of reconciliation in the country today, 17 years after the commission handed in its report. She has asked what South Africa needs to do to realise, what she calls, the dream of the Constitution. Read more.


International Workshop on Inequality and Middle Class Development in Africa

Cape Town, 4-6 May 2016

Against the background of a renewed interest in the impact of the distribution of income and wealth on socioeconomic development, this workshop focused on the potential of an emerging middle class in Africa to foster inclusive growth and play a transformative socio-political role in their respective countries. The workshop was organized by the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in cooperation with the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJRI) and SALDRU. In the course of three days, it provided participants with the opportunity to critically engage with questions around the development of a middle class in Africa from different perspectives. Participants presented current research results, structured the debate and exchanged ideas between research and policy making, and deliberated on joint strategies for a more integrated approach to the understanding of middle class formation, its segmentation, as well as its political and social orientations. Please see here for information about the workshop and to view the presentations.

Seminar Series

Estimating the labour market effects of a large increase in the agricultural minimum wage on rural farmworkers in SA

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

This Wednesday's seminar will be presented by Ihsaan Bassier, an economics honours student working as a research assistant under the supervision of Vimal Ranchhod in SALDRU.

In March 2013, the agricultural minimum wage was increased from R69 per day to R105 per day; an increase of just over 50%. This affected over 80% of agricultural workers at the time. We investigate the effects of this law on earnings, employment and hours of work on rural agricultural workers, using multiple waves of Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) data. We find that real wages increased substantially after the law, with the mode of the earnings distribution shifting to the new minimum, although there appears to be substantial levels of non-compliance. Employment in this sector fell by 4 percentage points, or about 14%, over the remaining quarters of 2013. How much of this temporal decrease can be causally attributed to the law is difficult to establish.

* Please note that the results presented here are preliminary and that the research is ongoing.

Lunch: 12.30-13.00, Staff Lounge, 4th Floor

Seminar: 13.00-14.00, Seminar Room, 4th Floor

Other Writing

Youth friendly clinics make inroads in reducing unintended teen births in South Africa

Nicola Branson and Tanya Byker

Econ3x3 Brief: The inequality of space: What to do?

Pippa Green

Econ3x3 Brief: How much is inequality reduced by progressive taxation and government spending?

Ingrid Woolard, Rebecca Metz, Gabriela Inchauste, Nora Lustig and Mashekwa Maboshe

World Bank working paper: The distributional impact of fiscal policy in South Africa

Gabriela Inchauste, Nora Lustig, Mashekwa Maboshe, Catriona Purfield and Ingrid Woolard

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