To raise awareness of trends in rural areas, more especially in areas known as the so-called ‘former white’ South Africa.
To research, document and monitor processes linked to socio-economic rights enforcement and sustainable development strategies.
To conduct research, documentation and dissemination of information pertaining to rural development and rural democracy as a mechanism to influence change.
The key research areas for ECARP are around:
Sectoral determination (Minimum wages), fair labour standards and decent living conditions where a database of over 1000 questionnaires has been developed to analyse impact of labour regulations.
Documentation of collective structures to monitor the progress of collective structures in addressing labour and tenure issues on farms.
Farm committee in-depth research.
Documentation of Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) process and land reform.
Value chains, fair trade and economic justice.
The Research programme is mainstreamed within the other three programmes…
…in the sense that research and documentation form core activities of each of the outreach programmes. The research programme is not limited to the level of the outreach programmes as it also focuses on other pertinent areas linked to the structuring of the agrarian political economy. Examples of these areas of research include the impact of the minimum wage and labour and tenure laws on agricultural product markets and on labour markets, and the impact on the working class and the forms of expanded social reproduction of labour. Research information generated has been used to enhance programme implementation. Findings from the Sectoral Determination research, the documentation on the collective structures and in-depth interviews with workers in citrus sub-sector are used in presentations with various stakeholders, in drawing up the Intergrated Community Development Plans as well as in various policy submission made to the Department of Labour on the proposed review of the minimum wage. Research findings were also used to develop articles and information shared in the newsletters.
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