The ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL JUSTICE TRUST (ESJT) was formed in 2012 by a group of activists to promote struggles for economic and social justice.
The key aims of the Trust are to enhance and promote the social and economic rights of Namibians. This includes the fair and equitable distribution of resources with a particular emphasis on enhancing the rights of the economically and socially excluded Namibians. The Trust also advocates for fundamental changes in the economic system to effect redistribution in favour of the poor.
The Trust is a lobby and advocacy group for economic, social and cultural rights in Namibia. It campaigns and takes action in relation to exposing corruption and self-enrichment in both public and private sectors. The Trust also cooperates with regional and international organisations or individuals who share the trust’s aim and objectives.
The Trust consists of activists who volunteer their time and knowledge to engage in campaigns and specific projects. The Trust meets several times a year and works with other organisations on areas of common interest. The Trustees annually elect a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and a Treasurer from amongst their ranks.
Since its formation until 2020 the Trust has worked without any donor funding and has relied on the voluntary contributions of its Trustees to carry out the work. The main activities of the Trust have centred on the prevention of marine phosphate mining and a tobacco plantation in the Zambezi region as well as the campaign for the rights of Shoprite workers and a basic income grant (BIG) for all Namibians. The Trust also engaged the Namibian Parliament to raise awareness about the consequences of debt (in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development-ZIMCODD). In 2019, the Trust published a booklet on the experiences of Otjivero with the BIG. The Trust played an active role in the people’s SADC summit of 2018 and works with the international campaign to hold Transnational Corporations accountable.
In 2020, the Trust will start its first activist school to prepare (mostly young) activist for their role in shaping a better Namibia, a better Africa and a better world. The school will deal with a host of issues such as poverty, inequality, unemployment, gender justice, decent housing as a human right, a living wage, climate justice etc. The Trust will also publish the Namibian Journal of Social Justice to provide a platform for open and critical debate on the many aspects of the struggle for economic and social justice from a progressive perspective. In addition, the Trust will continue to play a prominent role in ongoing social justice campaigns in collaboration with other like-minded organisations.