South Africa’s social and solidarity economy: A study of its characteristics and conditions

ILO 2021


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Summary :

This research report analyses data collected between July–December 2019, during the Social and Solidarity Economy draft Green Paper consultation process. The research goal was to better understand the social and solidarity economy (SSE), recognizing that the country’s contextual diversity results in extraordinary diversity in the SSE. The research question around which the study was designed was: ‘What does the SSE look like in South Africa?’

The insights from these data allow for recommendations on how to support the SSE. The SSE is a large and important part of many developed and developing market economies and is regarded as an important mechanism to achieve inclusive economic growth that addresses South Africa’s inequality, unemployment and poverty. Getting the policy mix ‘right’ to enable the SSE will unlock benefits, such as more and better jobs, especially in communities that are excluded or marginalized from economic centres.

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