The Centre for Social Justice presents a virtual event:

3rd Annual Social Justice Summit and International Conference

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  • Programme·
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Social justice, economic equality and peace - A new socio-economic pathway for South Africa and the continent

The purpose of the 3rd Annual Social Justice Summit is to reflect on the state of social justice in South Africa, focusing on economic equality, the impact of Covid-19 regulatory responses, the adequacy of current policy frameworks for rebuilding better and restitution, as well as the impact of economic inequality on peace and the rule of law. The summit will also reflect on the factors behind the recent social unrest, future scenarios and ways through which the Musa Plan for Social Justice (Social Justice M-Plan) could be leveraged for rebuilding better together, focusing on the economy and social fabric in a manner that leverages inclusion for sustainable growth, development and peace. It will also review progress on the implementation of the Social Justice Declaration adopted at the Inaugural Summit and the Social Justice M-Plan and emerge with an agenda for the next phase to accelerate the progress on the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on advancing economic equality and ending poverty by 2030.

Download Summit summary report → Download Summit full report → Download Conference summary report → Download Conference full report →

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Watch recordings of summit and conference sessions below. Looking for the 2020 summit? Click here.

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11 October 2021:
The International Conference on Law, Policy and Social Justice: Taking Economic Equality Seriously

The conference is a global platform that seeks to bring together social justice researchers and other stakeholders to reflect on advancing equality and ending poverty in economies globally, with a special focus on progress, shortfalls and prospects regarding law and policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) on the African continent.

The conference will further explore the role of economic equality in sustaining peace, stability and the rule of law in emerging democracies.

We welcome the submission of abstracts on social justice research for papers to be presented at the international conference. Presentations should focus on leveraging law reform and SDGs to accelerate economic parity and to achieve Social Justice outcomes.

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The themes for the conference are:

Land reform, property rights, and the distribution of assets

Business ownership

Financial inclusion

Wealth and income distribution

Social security and the basic income grant

Agriculture and food security

Education and digital inclusion

Social justice resonant economic theories including indices for measuring economic growth

Emerging tools for social impact conscious economic planning

The role of law reform and judicial activism in advancing economic parity and SDG goals

12 October 2021:
The 3rd Annual Social Justice Summit: Social justice, economic equality and peace - A new socio-economic pathway for South Africa and the continent

The objective of the summit is to review progress on economic equality, factors behind identified challenges and emerge with a proposed civil society plan of action around adjusted pathways for the achievement of an equal economy in all municipalities, aligned with the Social Justice M-Plan key objectives and the SDGs.

Download the programme →

The themes for the Social Justice Summit are:

Land reform, property rights, and the distribution of assets

Business ownership

Financial inclusion

Wealth and income distribution

Social security and the basic income grant

Agriculture and food security

Education and digital inclusion

Social justice resonant economic theories including indices for measuring economic growth

Emerging tools for social impact conscious economic planning

The role of Parliament in advancing economic parity and SDG goals

Keynote Speakers

We have an exciting array of speakers, including the ones below — and many more.

International Conference on Social Justice

Dr. Choice Makhetha

Senior Director: Student Affairs, Stellenbosch University

Dr. Choice Makhetha is the Senior Director: Student Affairs at Stellenbosch University as from 1 August 2019. She is deeply involved in institutional initiatives focusing on Gender-Based Violence and Transformation, among others. She also serves as a member of the Institutional Audit Committee (IAC) of the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC), reporting to the Council on Higher Education (CHE) since February 2020 - February 2023. She obtained her PhD in Political Science in 2003, at the University of Free State, in the field of Elections and Electoral Systems - South Africa's perspective, funded by the Mellon Foundation. Dr Makhetha was on a 19-month contract serving as the Transformation Advisor: Office of the Vice Chancellor, at the Central University of Technology (CUT), in the Free State Province (January 2018-July 2019). Before then, she was the Vice Rector Student Affairs and External Relations at the University of the Free State (March 2012 - May 2016) and was acting in the same post for a year (2011) before full appointment.

Prof. Deresh Ramjugernath

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching, Stellenbosch University

Professor Deresh Ramjugernath has a PhD in Engineering (Chemical) from the University of Natal. He is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching at Stellenbosch University. Prior to his appoint at Stellenbosch University he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Pro Vice-Chancellor: Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). He was the holder of the DST/NRF South Africa Research Chair (SARChI): Fluorine Process Engineering and Separation Technology at UKZN and was appointed full professor of chemical engineering, at the age of 31, in January 2004 at UKZN. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition, including the NRF President‚ Äôs Award in 2005; NSTF Awards in 2006 and 2010; UKZN Vice-Chancellor‚ Äôs Research Awardee in 2010; honorary professorship from Durban University of Technology in 2012; inducted as a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa in 2012; inducted as a fellow of the South African Academy of Engineers in 2013; South African Institute of Chemical Engineers Gold Medal in 2013; South African Institute of Chemical Engineers Innovation Award in 2013 (member of the team); listed by Thomson Reuters in 2013 as one of the most highly cited researchers; Fellow of the African Academy of Science in 2016; Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2017; and most recently the Universities South Africa Entrepreneurial Development in Higher Education Deputy Vice-Chancellor Award in 2020.

Prof. Haroon Bhorat

Director: Development Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town

Haroon Bhorat is Professor of Economics and Director of the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. His research interests cover labour economics, poverty and income distribution. Haroon sits on the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) and holds the highly prestigious National Research Chair under the theme of Economic Growth, Poverty and Inequality: Exploring the Interactions for South Africa. He is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; a Fellow of the UCT College of Fellows; a Research Fellow at IZA, the Institute for the Study of Labour in Bonn; and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Human Sciences Council (HSRC). He sits on the editorial advisory board of the World Bank Economic Review, and is a Board Member of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER). Haroon consults with international organizations such as the ILO, the UNDP, the World Bank, Ratings Agencies and emerging market fund managers, and has undertaken extensive work for several South African government departments‚ and most notably the South African Department of Labour, the Presidency and the National Treasury. He served as an economic advisor to two past Ministers of Finance and previous Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, formally serving on the Presidential Economic Advisory Panel.

Prof. Sharlene Swartz

Division Executive: Inclusive Economic Development research programme, Human Sciences Research Council

Professor Sharlene Swartz is Division Executive of the Inclusive Economic Development research programme at the Human Sciences Research Council, an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Fort Hare, and a former Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. She holds undergraduate degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Zululand; a Master's degree from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Her expertise and current research centres on the just inclusion of youth in a transforming society. She is currently completing a book on decolonising methodologies in educational research; is working on the concept of ‘navigational capacities’ for youth in adverse contexts; and is formulating the notion of ‘refracted economies’ as a tool for thinking about livelihoods and the future of work in a digital age. She has over 80 academic publications. Her books include The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies (2021); Society, Research and Power (2021); Another Country: Everyday Social Restitution (2016); Ikasi: the moral ecology of South Africa’s township youth (2009); Teenage Tata: Voices of Young Fathers in South Africa (2009); Youth citizenship and the politics of belonging (2013); Moral eyes: Youth and justice in Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa (2018) and Studying while black: Race, education and emancipation in South African universities (2018).

Prof. Tshepo Madlingozi

Director: Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Wits University

Tshepo Madlingozi is an Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University. He has master’s degrees in both Law and Sociology, and he received his PhD degree from Birkbeck, University of London. He is a Research Associate at the Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education at Nelson Mandela University. He is the co-editor of South African Journal of Human Rights and part of the management team of Pretoria University Law Press. He is a co-editor of Symbol or Substance: Socio-economic Rights in South Africa (Cambridge UP) and a co-editor of Introduction to Law and Legal Skills in South Africa, 2nd Edition (Oxford UP South Africa). He is an advisory board member of the Journal of Human Rights Practice, and he sits on the boards of the following civil society organizations:; Centre for Human Rights, University of Free State; the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution; the Rural Democracy Trust; and the Mining-Affected Communities United in Action/Women-Affected by Mining Action. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA), and a member of the advisory board of Health Justice Initiative. For thirteen years (2015-2018) he worked with and for Khulumani Support Group, a 120 000-strong social movement of victims and survivors of Apartheid as National Advocacy Coordinator and later the Chairperson.

Social Justice Summit

Aurélien Lechavellier

French Ambassador to South Africa

Justice Edwin Cameron

Former Judge: Constitutional Court of South Africa

Justice Edwin Cameron is a former judge of South Africa’s highest court, the Constitutional Court. During apartheid, he was a human rights lawyer. In 2000 he was awarded the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. Cameron has fought for LGBTI equality and was a fierce critic of former South African president Thabo Mbeki’s AIDS denialist policies. After retiring from the bench in 2019, he was elected Chancellor of Stellenbosch University and appointed judicial inspector of correctional services.

Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonti

Former Minister of Education, University and Research: Italy

Lorenzo Fioramonti is the former Minister of Education, University and Research and a member of the Chamber of Deputies in Italy. He is Full Professor of Political Economy at the University of Pretoria, where he founded the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation and was Deputy Project Leader of the Future Africa initiative. Co-author of the Wellbeing Economy theory, he is also Extraordinary Professor at the School of Public Leadership of the University of Stellenbosch, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Social Investment of the University of Heidelberg and at the Hertie School of Governance (Germany) and Associate Fellow at the UN University.

Prof. Nicola Smit

Dean and Professor of Law: Faculty of Law, Stellenbosch University

Nicola Smit started her academic career as a junior lecturer at UNISA. She joined the University of Johannesburg (then RAU) in 1996 as a lecturer. She eventually progressed to full professor and also served as Vice Dean of the UJ Faculty of Law. In 2013 she joined the NWU Faculty of Law as Executive Dean in Potchefstroom. Prof Smit has been Dean and Professor of Law of the Faculty of Law at Stellenbosch since August 2017. Her areas of specialisation include labour law (both collective and individual) and social security law. Prof Smit is a NRF-rated researcher and she publishes widely and delivers keynotes and presentations at national and international conferences. Although Prof Smit does not currently teach at undergraduate level, she continues to supervise postgraduate students in the fields of labour and social security law. For a number of years, she has also taught on the Global Law Programme of the KU Leuven. Prof Smit is a member of the International Advisory Board of The International Journal of Labour Law and Industrial Relations, member of the editorial board of International Labor Rights Case Law Journal, and co-editor and co-author of various books, including Law@work, Principles and Practice of Labour Law, Social Security: A Legal Analysis, Introduction to Social Security, Age Discrimination and Labour Law and The Law of Commerce.

Dr. Nthabiseng Moleko

Development Economist

Dr. Nthabiseng Moleko is a Development Economist who is core faculty member at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) where she teaches Economics and Statistics as a Senior Lecturer since 2017. She also serves as a Commissioner for the Commission for Gender Equality appointed by the President in 2017 and is currently the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission. She completed her PhD in Development Finance at USB on Pension Funds and national development and is the first South African woman to be conferred a doctorate in this discipline. Dr. Moleko regularly appears across various network's programming on economic and business coverage as a thought leader.

Thembi Siweya

Deputy Minister in The Presidency, South Africa

Ms Thembi Rhulani Siweya is a youth activist and a philanthropist who is very passionate about promoting a culture of reading and writing. She is a graduate from Medunsa and is currently enrolled for an MBA Degree. She Matriculated in Saint Morgens English Medium School in Mokopane Limpopo province. She was introduced to politics at an early age through student activism. She served as the Chairperson of SRC Science Faculty in Medunsa (Medical University of South Africa) and also Treasurer General (TG) For the South African Student Congress (SASCO). In the year 2013, she served in the ANCYL Provincial Task Team (PTT) Sub-Committee on Communications. She has been a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) Since 2015 to date. A communicator in her own right, Ms Siweya has vast experience of working in the communications environment both as a civil servant and as a politician. She worked as the Spokesperson for the Youth Commission in Limpopo Province between 2007 and 2010. She was a Communications Manager in the Office of Limpopo Premier between 2010 and 2016. Ms Siweya is an avid reader and a writer who has written numerous published opinion pieces on a variety of topics specifically about Africa and the world. She counts the likes of Chinua Achebe, Bessie Head and Mandla Langa, Among her favourite Authors. In 2014, she started African Unmasked, a cognitive movement established to deliberate on current affairs, especially issues relating to gender, health, education, governance, economics and Identity. African Unmasked encourages dialogue among Africans with the aim to facilitate interdependence amongst African states. Through African Unmasked, Ms Siweya has donated learning materials such as books, school uniform and shoes to learners in various schools in all the nine provinces of South Africa. She has also been able to donate relief parcels to the victims of cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Between April and May 2019. Ms Siweya is the Deputy Minister in The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, the position she was appointed to on 30 May 2019. The Deputy Minister is also a Member of Parliament for the ANC.

Dr. Usta Kaitesi

CEO: Rwanda Governance Board

Dr. Usta Kaitesi is the Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Governance Board and a commissioner to the Rwanda Law Reform Commission. She previously served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Governance Board, the principal of the University of Rwanda College of Arts and Social Sciences, the Vice Chair of the Technical Commission to Support the Parliament in the revision of the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda, vice-dean for postgraduate, and head of the department of Public Law as well as a lecturer at the former National University of Rwanda. Usta Kaitesi was also an advocate with the Rwanda Bar Association and a member of the East African Law Society. Dr. Usta Kaitesi sat on various Board of directors, National Commission and Advisory boards at the International and Nationally levels including; member of the International Advisory Board of the Transitional Justice Program of the Minerva Centre for Human Rights of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Board Member of the Rwanda Governance Board, Vice Chair of the Executive Council of the Inter-University Council for East Africa as well as member of the advisor.

Watch now

Experience the summit by watching the playlist below. You can browse all sessions here.

Full Summit

Full Conference


About the Chair:

Professor Thulisile “Thuli” Madonsela, an advocate of the High Court of South Africa, heads the Centre for Social Justice and is a law professor at the University of Stellenbosch, where she conducts and coordinates social justice research and teaches constitutional and administrative law.

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