Our mission is to produce research and policy outputs of the highest quality in order to contribute to the quest for economic transformation in our country. We also aim to be an effective vehicle for the union to contest for the voice of the working class in public discourse on policy issues.


To produce high-quality research, contributing to the improved performance of the union.

To shape policy direction from an informed point of view and challenge the status quo by being the voice of the working class in public discourse.

To build capacity within union for research and policy development.

To participate in research and knowledge production for the working class in general and for the union in particular. This stems from an acute awareness that in a class divided society such as South African and the world is, all knowledge is class biased, and the working class must produce its own knowledge, for itself. There is no class neutral knowledge.

The Institute is designed to contribute to this work by both attracting from inside and outside South Africa, some of the most committed socialist intellectuals, academics, activists and trade unionists and building global networks of socialist and other progressive think tanks which all advance solidarity.

We have an internal value chain Approach within NUMSA, this entails all departments within the organisation work in collaboration with each other together with all our 9 Regional Offices to provide cutting edge research findings beneficial, to our Members.

The research information is related to the agenda of the working class and most importantly Policy capacity developments

To advance international working class solidarity in line with the Numsa Constitution. Numsa recognises that Marxism- Leninism and the socialism it proclaims are international, universal movements of the world working class.

Ultimately, the Institute is designed to provide the union with high quality research on the World and South African socio-economic formations, in order for the union to advance its objectives.


Without exhausting them, the Institute has currently the following Strategic Thematic Areas of Work:

Research in the following areas of specialization:

  • Economics
  • Labour market regulation
  • Socio-economic Research
  • Development Economics
  • The Transformation into the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Jobs
  • Manufacturing and Industrialisation
  • Energy and ecology
  • Land and Agrarian Transformation
  • Political Economy
  • Advancing Policy

The Economic Research Institute provides for the strategic support of the organisation and is responsible for the formulation of strategies to guide and represent the Trade Union in Government and Business as well as industrial sectors, social and environmental sectors; and training in economic management.

The Strategic Key Areas are: 

  • Research
  • Policy
  • Union capacity development in research and policy work
  • Publications
  • Communication
  • Public dialogs including seminars, symposiums, colloquiums, workshops and all such similar fora; and
  • Policy development and analysis
  • Capacity Building
  • Planning

Representing NUMSA  in all policy forums and stakeholder engagements