July 2018

The work of the Mandela Initiative spanned 2013 – 2018 and followed the Towards Carnegie3: Strategies to Overcome Poverty & Inequality conference hosted by the University of Cape Town in 2012. Over this period, a Think Tank of prominent individuals was set up to guide the Initiative, including the partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation which commenced in 2015. With the support of the DST-NRF, nine Research Chairs led research on the Initiative’s themes, while 23 Action Dialogues were hosted with academics, government, civil society and the private sector. The outcomes of these three pillars of the Initiative’s work were consolidated into a draft synthesis report, which informed multi-sectoral deliberations at a national workshop in February 2018.

The draft report was revised into the final report, Grappling with poverty and inequality, which contains recommendations emerging out of the total sum of the Mandela Initiative’s work over the six-year period. The report is based on research summaries by 40 contributors and additional recommendations from the national workshop and includes examples of innovative local models of dealing with the country’s challenges. Whilst it reflects work in progress that requires further discussion, the report provides a possible framework for thinking about prioritising actions to eliminate poverty and reducing inequalities in South Africa.

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