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 the democracy.
Over the years AIDC has played a leading role in various civil society responses to ongoing inequality including facilitating the launch and building of the South African Jubilee 2000 debt cancellation campaign, and the Right to Work Campaign.
AIDC has established itself as a leading source of research and information on themes of austerity and debt, financialisation; tax, illicit financial flows and BEPS, as well as in relation to energy transitions.
AIDC continues to play a central role in various regional and international networks and forums including the Southern African Peoples’ Solidarity Network (SAPSN), the Southern African Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power as well as the Peoples Dialogue.
AIDC has contributed to strengthening South African civil society over the years by building leadership and analytical capacity and facilitating networking though a series of conferences, trainings, and leadership schools for trade unionists, women and youth.
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 produce and promote alternative knowledge and analysis which enables popular movements for social, economic and ecological justice to engage with the intersecting crises flowing from the natural, economic and social challenges confronting humanity.
During 2022 to 2024 AIDC undertakes to contributing to building a just transition from below
Perspective of a Just Transition
In the USA, UK, Europe and in several parts of the world there are discussions and proposals promoting a green new deal, i.e. an economic programme, which integrates ecological and specifically climate mitigation strategies for low carbon development.
These proposals have been made more urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for a just recovery, post the pandemic. AIDC believes this approach is important but believes the framing of the Green New Deal is too narrow, especially in a South African and global South perspective. As an alternative we promote a framework of a “just transition” as a signifier of a post COVID-19 recovery, which centres strategies for overcoming inequality, unemployment and transitioning from extractivism as an economic mode.
Decent work, provision of basic services and overcoming inequality will require a break with economic policies of austerity and the debilitating impact of a neoliberal paradigm. In a South African context, made more urgent by the recent riots that gripped parts of the country, there is great urgency for a redistributive strategy built on the pillars of land and agrarian reform for food sovereignty, a massive housing programme and expansion of public transport. The transformation of the energy industry based on the transition to socially owned renewable energy and protection of water and other natural resources are key aspects of this Just Transition. This is primarily a public driven programme, centred on the expansion of the commons and the rebuilding of a capable, effective and people-centred state.
AIDC will work with popular movements of civil society to develop, in more concrete terms what such a Just Transition entails. This will bring together existing work which has been done on alternative frameworks for development, such as the MERG Report, Making Democracy Work, the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) and the Million Climate Jobs Campaign, as well as developing working groups where the pillars of a Just Transition can be spelt out including, the appropriate macro-economic framework.