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The Zola Skweyiya African Social Policy Innovation

The Zola Skweyiya African Social Policy Innovation (ZSASPI) is a research unit that is operating under the auspices of the Institute for Democracy, Citizenship, and Public Policy in Africa (IDCPPA) which is based at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa.

It also collaborates with the Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR) at UCT. It was established in 2020 to pursue a research agenda that is Afrocentric, globally focused, robust, innovative and evidence-based. Its research agenda is rooted in Africa and the Global South and encompasses various initiatives that seek to arrive at non-Western solutions to South Africa’s, Southern Africa’s and Africa’s development challenges.

ZSASPI is named after the late Minister of Social Development of South Africa, Dr. Zola Sidney Skweyiya, who was also a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC).

Dr Skweyiya was a freedom fighter who worked tirelessly to liberate South Africans during the liberation struggle and later fought for the dignity of the poor, marginalised and vulnerable in a post-apartheid dispensation until his passing in 2018. ZSASPI is guided by the principles which Dr. Skweyiya stood for, which are inter alia, social justice, fairness and inclusivity.


An innovative, robust and world class African research and policy analysis centre of excellence that generates Afrocentric theories and knowledge for Africa’s development. 


To contribute to an inclusively developed, South Africa, Southern Africa and Africa through innovative, robust and indigenous-based research initiatives.

ZSASPI’s research is cutting-edge and evidence-based and its focus is informed by the socio-economic and political conditions of South Africa and African countries. ZSASPI strives to arrive at Afrocentric and indigenous models and theoretical frameworks of development.

Furthermore, ZSASPI envisions to proffer alternative and workable solutions to the endemic challenges of poverty, inequality, unemployment, social dislocation, social exclusion, destitution and a plethora of social ills threatening South Africa, Southern Africa and the African continent.

photographs were provide by the Family of Dr Zola Skweyiya.