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Prof. Devan Pillay (GLU Chairperson)

Devan Pillay is currently the GLU Chairperson. Formerly a political prisoner fighting against apartheid, Devan went on to complete his PhD at Essex University, under the supervision of Harold Wolpe (topic: trade unions and alliance politics).

He has also worked for the SA Labour Bulletin, Work In Progress magazine, the Social Policy Program at the University of Durban-Westville (now a campus located in the University of Kwazulu-Natal) and as Head of Research at the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Before joining the Sociology department at Wits University, he had set up the Media Development and Diversity Agency in the South African Government Communication and Information System department.

Prof. Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams is Professor of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa. She chaired the Global Labour University Programme (GLU) at Wits between 2011 to 2021. She is a member of the International GLU Steering Committee (and chairperson in 2017-2018), and a member of the board of the Wits Development Studies programme. She has published widely on Democracy, Development, Gender, and South-South comparisons.

Dr Ben Scully

Ben Scully is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (Wits), South Africa. He also serves as an editor of the Global Labour Journal. His research focuses on labour, social protection, and development in Africa.

Prof. Sarah Mosoetsa

Sarah Mosoetsa is an associate professor of Sociology at Wits University and Chief Executive Officer at the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS). Sarah is also a Council member at the University of Venda, and Board member at the National Research Foundation.

Professor Mosoetsa is currently a Commissioner for the Department of Labour’s National Minimum Wage Commission. She has worked for the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP, Wits University), Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA).

She is the author of “Eating from one pot: Dynamics of Survival in poor South African households” (Wits Press, 2011) and co-editor of “Labour in the Global South: challenges and alternatives for workers” (ILO, 2012).

Her recent collaborative works include “Precarious Labor in Global Perspective, International Labor and Working-class History” (Cambridge University Press, 2017), “New South African Review 6 - The Crisis of Inequality” (Wits Press 2018) and “Poverty and Inequality in South Africa” (Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa, 2019).

Dr Tatenda Mukwedeya

Tatenda Mukwedeya is a lecturer in Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). His research and teaching interests lie broadly in Political and Development Sociology in which he has published on local party-state relations. With colleagues at Sheffield University, he is working on various aspects of peripheral urbanism.

Prof. Vishwas Satgar

Vishwas Satgar is an Associate Professor of International Relations, editor of the Democratic Marxism series (Volume 5 in the series is titled: BRICS and New American Imperialism – Global Rivalry and Resistance, WITS University Press, 2020) and principal investigator for Emancipatory Futures Studies in the Anthropocene.

As a policy researcher, he supported COSATU’s labour market reform agenda while working at COSATU’s think-tank, NALEDI, from 1995-1999.

He has worked on community-based alternatives in township communities for over two decades. He has co-founded various grassroots campaigns and initiatives including the Cooperative and Policy Alternative Centre, the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign and the Climate Justice Charter process.

He has taught a course on Understanding Global Capitalism on the GLU programme for over ten years. His research interests include transnational alternatives, empire, complexity and systemic crisis, subaltern futures and global political ecology.

Dr Thabang Sefalafala

Thabang Sefalafala is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Wits University. He has worked for the Gauteng Department of Economic Development for over 4 years focusing on research and development of economic policy and strategy. He was a fellow in the Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP) under the Decent Work cluster where he completed his masters on Experience, Precarity and Decent Work in the private security industry.

He has received numerous awards including Merit awards and from the National Research Fund and Global Change Institute (formerly known as the Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute). His PhD thesis focuses on experiences of unemployment and the meaning of work among ex-mine workers in the Free State.

His research interests include experience, work, precarity, labour and development-related topics. He has published and presented on these topics in the South African Labour Bulletin, the Mail and Guardian (M&G), South African Review of Sociology, book chapters and at the SWOP breakfast. His current research interests focus on rethinking work exploring themes around the changing nature and meaning of work, redistribution and unemployment. He was awarded the M&G Young 200 South Africans prize in 2019.

Alfred Mafuleka

Alfred Mafuleka is the National Educator of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). He has been the mandated member of the Wits and International Steering committee of GLU since 2011 as the labour representative.

Before joining COSATU’s Education Unit in 2009, his trade union work started out in the early 1980s as a member and elected Shops Steward and Safety & Health Representative of the Transport & General Workers Union – TGWU (known as SATAWU today after the merger in 1992), one of the founding affiliates of COSATU (the federation was founded in 1985).

He has worked for the Labour Research Service (LRS) in Cape Town from 1990, after which he then joined the Research and Information Project (ERIP) at the University of Western Cape for a year and a half. Subsequently, he joined the Trade Union Research Project (TURP) at the then University of Natal, Durban (now the University of KwaZulu Natal).

Alfred holds a University Diploma in Adult education (1994) obtained at UND and was a participant in the pilot group for the GLU-ENGAGE Programme in 2013 at Wits University.

His current focus area, amongst others, is materials development and training induction of newly elected shop stewards in their roles and the history of the labour movement.

Dr Jérôme Lange