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Rhodes > ISER > Events

ISER Events

The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) hosts a number of events each year, including the Annual Dr AB Xuma Memorial Lecture, the annual Winter/Summer School, and a range of seminars and colloquia. The memorial lecture was established in honour of Dr AB Xuma, a pioneer of an inclusive tradition of social policy in South Africa that drew attention to the social effects of segregation and apartheid on the health and welfare of blacks. From 2014, an Annual Neil Aggett Labour Studies Lecture will be held, with the first preceding the formal launch of the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit.

The following scholars have delivered Dr AB Xuma Memorial Lectures:

  • Dr Saleem Badat (Council on Higher Education of South Africa): Scholarship, Social Policy Research and Policy Making in Contemporary South Africa: Critical Issues and Challenges
  • Dr Gavin Williams (Oxford University): The ideas of social policy and development policy
  • Prof Vishnu Padayachee (Rhodes University): Contestations over economic policy making in the transition period from apartheid
  • Prof Di McIntyre (University of Cape Town): Universal Health Care in South Africa: Challenges and Prospects
  • Prof Leila Patel (University of Johannesburg): Developmental welfare reconsidered: the ideas, achievements, challenges and future prospects of  Social Welfare nineteen years into South Africa's democracy
  • Mr Andrew Mlangeni: From Robben Island to Freedom: The New Society We Fought For and What Must Still be Done to Achieve It 

The Annual Winter/Summer School aims to provide a space for an inclusive, critical dialogue on key social and political issues affecting the country, and is attended by members of Eastern Cape civics and trade union organisations. The 2012 Winter School assessed the liberation movements – such as the African National Congress – in the democratic era. The 2014 Winter School will be focused on labour organisation post Marikana, and will be hosted by the ISER’s Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit.

In 2012, a two-day colloquium was held on the Political Economy of Restructuring South Africa (PERSA) programme. The focus of the colloquium was alternative strategies for economic transformation of South Africa with consideration of the role of social policy in such transformation. The programme co-ordinator was Professor Vishnu Padayachee, Professor Extraordinaire in the ISER. The colloquium brought together twenty of the leading specialists researching social policy and political economy in South Africa, including Professor Ben Fine of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. A follow-up PERSA colloquium was held in Durban in 2013.

In 2013, a major conference was held in Durban on The State and Social Transformation: Alternative Economic and Social Strategies. The conference formed part of a SANPAD funded multi-country research project entitled Developmental States, Social Policy and Social Compacts: Global Opportunities, National Actors and Effective Institutions. The Durban conference explored and debated the role of the South African state in dealing with problems of poverty and inequality, and the role of social compacting in establishing universal and inclusive forms of social provision such as health care.  The keynote address was delivered by Dr Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry, and presentations by a number of leading scholars – including from the UK and Ireland – were made.

In 2014, the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) was launched through a series of three events:

  • The first Annual Neil Aggett Labour Studies Lecture, given by Dr Beverley Naidoo, author of Death of an Idealist: In Search of Neil Aggett.
  • A Neil Aggett Colloquium held in the Makana City Hall, and well attended my members of trade unions, civic organisations, government and Rhodes University. Chaired by Dr John Reynolds, this colloquium featured inputs by past and present trade union leaders and by academics.
  • A Naming Ceremony during which NALSU and the building in which it is housed – Neil Aggett House – were named. Speakers included the Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University and the Eastern Cape MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The formal naming was done by Ms Jill Burger, Neil Aggett’s sister.

Information on further seminars, colloquia and lectures will be released in due course.

Last Modified: Tue, 23 May 2017 08:03:29 SAST