On the 30 November to 01 December 2017 Oxfam South Africa hosted the Second People’s Economic Initiative at Turbine Hall, Newtown, Johannesburg. According to Oxfam SA a People’s Economy (PE) is an economy that moves away from individual profit motive and that is designed for the few, towards an inclusive economy that starts with providing basic services for the many.
Themes of the 2017 event were women’s economic participation and empowerment; food systems, food markets and agricultural value chains; a just energy transition and green economic growth; informal economy, the future of jobs in the city and urban poverty dynamics.
Participants at the workshop highlighted high unemployment affecting workers especially black youth, lack of education, unaffordable electricity as major challenges. Sessions on women’s economic participation and empowerment covered the issues on how the economy can work with black women and empower them. The workshop focused on the areas that women need to see change in, including women’s leadership, skills enhancement, entrepreneurship, access to health care services and access of information.
According to Siphokazi Mthathi, Executive Director Oxfam SA, “the system has excluded us, we can expand the frame work and how power is structured”. She added that there is a need to develop alternatives to the current system.