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About us

 “The fight to avoid a catastrophic outcome to this crisis engendered by capitalism is the fight to safeguard the material conditions for the survival with dignity of humankind.” – Alexandre Costa, Brazilian climate scientist

There is a growing consensus, both globally and nationally that we face the unprecedented twin challenge created by inter-linked economic and environmental crises. This is no less true for South and Southern Africa. In a context where 20 years of democracy has failed to restructure the economy away from the dominance of the Minerals Energy Complex (MEC) in a way that can provide decent work and livelihoods to its people, redistribute wealth so that inequality can be reversed and poverty overcome AIDC has formulated a strategic plan centred on forging alliances built on an alternative development strategy which is low carbon, wage led, economically sustainable and equitable.

The Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) was formed in 1996 in response to the democratic transition in South Africa and the new opportunities and challenges it brought those seeking greater social justice within society. AIDC works in support of and in collaboration with popular movements to promote and advance initiatives for socio-economic and ecological justice. Several of these movements now make up the membership of AIDC in a new governance structure following an internal transition to a membership based organisation, which provides for the strategies and programmes of AIDC to be shaped by popular movement members themselves.

AIDC has come to occupy a uniquely important role in relation to many of these major movements as well several ongoing struggles in South and Southern Africa that can and must be linked, consolidated and rallied behind an urgent call for a just transition to a just and sustainable development path. This position both enables and obligates AIDC to exert its best efforts in supportively shaping and guiding the unfolding reconfiguration of forces into a meaningful counter-force that is capable of leading the struggle for a just transition to a just and sustainable alternative development path.


In a context of deepening socio-economic, political and ecological crisis, we contribute to enabling popular movements to advance a just transition based on human solidarity and the fundamental democratisation of society. Collectively, our mission is to contribute to rebuilding vibrant, autonomous, democratic and inclusive popular movements capable of advancing socio-economic and ecological justice. 

This is in order to move toward a sustainable society free of racism, xenophobia, sexism, resource degradation, oppression, exploitation and alienation, where people live in dignity and govern by participatory democracy are respected and free to realise their potential productivity and creativity and live in peace without fear and in harmony with the environment.

To achieve this, AIDC undertakes a dynamic and integrated strategy that includes knowledge production and dissemination, population education, capacity building and movement building work directed at rolling out campaigns that advance alternative solutions to address extreme levels of unemployment, inequality and climate change. This involves linking our social relief work with advocacy for economic and ecological policy alternatives related to tax and budget justice and energy democracy, directed towards creating decent work.

Knowledge Production and Dissemination

Original research and analysis is used by labour, community, faith-based, environmental and women’s organisations and movements in support of day-to-day struggles for decent work, a living wage, essential services and an environment free of pollution, as well as in advocating and campaigning for a just transition to a low-carbon, wage-led, sustainable and equitable economy.

Popular Education

Activists from AIDC’s partner organisations and movements, especially women, have the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead within their own structures, and to link their local struggles to the wider movement for a just transition to a low-carbon, wage-led, sustainable and equitable economy.

Movement-Building Advocacy

Alliances and coalitions of labour, community, faith-based, environmental and women’s organisations are campaigning locally, nationally and regionally for decent work, a living wage, essential services and an environment free of pollution, and for a just transition to a low-carbon, wage-led, sustainable and equitable economy.

In pursuing these objectives we will work with beneficiaries from organisations and movements in the labour, faith-based, community and environmental justice sectors, principally in South Africa but with activities that reach across the southern Africa region – well over 100,000 people in total. In the coming period we envisage increasing work with a growing number of formations throughout southern Africa, especially Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the DRC and Mauritius.


  • Corporate accountability: supporting trade unions and mining affected communities in their struggle to protect their land and toward developing alternatives to extractivism through the Right To Say No, based on the principles of free, prior and informed consent, and campaigning for the adoption of a binding treaty on business and human rights; 
  • Energy democracy and climate justice: supporting struggles for the decarbonisation of the electricity and transport sectors as part of its campaign to advance a just transition based on a public goods approach; 
  • Economic and Tax Justice: support efforts that advances advocacy for budget and tax justice. Currently, emphasis is placed on fighting austerity and the struggle against unemployment. To this end, AIDC provides support to a number of organisations under the banner of the Assembly of the Unemployed and the Cry of the Xcluded who roll-out campaigns for a basic income grant and the right to work;
  • Financing a Just Transition: showing how combating profit shifting by halting illicit capital flows base erosion and profit shifting along with other concrete proposals to enhance the progressivity of the tax framework and potential pools of domestic resource mobilisation can contribute to financing a transition to a more redistributive and low-carbon economy.