One of the university's strategic goals is to expand and enhance UCT's contribution to South Africa's development challenges. To this end UCT identified four key institution-wide initiatives which sought to address critical social challenges, and turned these into strategic research drives.
Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI)
SaVI comprises a core group of researchers with a mandate to focus on understanding and intervening in the promotion of safety and the reduction of violence (in particular criminal violence) in South Africa.
Schools Improvement Initiative (SII)
The SII is a direct response to the education crisis in South Africa which not only has negative implications for the country as a whole but poses serious challenges for tertiary education.
African Climate & Development Initiative (ACDI)
The ACDI's goal is to be an interdisciplinary research hub that brings together academics with NGOs, business and government in a knowledge factory that co-produces and tests new insights, evidence and innovations that will help to solve Africa's climate and development challenges.
Poverty & Inequality Initiative (PII)
The PII was set up at UCT to tackle the question of why, in a country of rich resources, poverty and inequality are persisting and even, in the case of inequality, deepening.