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Wits Professor to chair Advisory Panel on the National Minimum Wage

- Wits University

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa appoints Professor Imraan Valodia to chair advisory panel on the national minimum wage.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as Chairperson of the Committee of Principals of the National Economic Development Council (Nedlac), has appointed a seven-person panel to advise on an appropriate level at which the national minimum wage could be set.

The Nedlac Committee of Principals comprises representatives of government, labour, business and community charged with, among others, determining the national minimum wage (NMW).

Professor Imraan Valodia, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the University of the Witwatersrand will chair a panel of seven experts who will assist Nedlac in setting the level of the national minimum wage, taking into account work done thus far by Nedlac technical task-teams.

“We applaud Wits Professor Imraan Valodia who has been appointed to the Advisory Panel on the National Minimum Wage, to explore the important matter of setting this for South Africa. This may address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment that remain two decades after democracy,” says Professor Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University.

Other panel advisors appointed by Deputy President Ramaphosa in consultation with Nedlac social partners include:

  • Mamokete Lijane, Aluwani Capital Partners’ macro strategist responsible for macro-economic and fixed income strategy and asset allocation;
  • Dr Debbie Collier, Associate Professor in the Department of Commercial Law at the University of Cape Town;
  • Professor Murray Leibbrandt, Pro Vice-Chancellor: Poverty and Inequality, University of Cape Town;
  • Ayabonga Cawe, Economic Justice Manager, OXFAM South Africa;
  • Dr Siphokazi Koyana, skills development and training expert with local and international experience; and
  • Dr Patrick Belser (international expert), Senior Economist at the International Labour Organisation.

The appointment of the advisors takes place against the background of consensus among Nedlac social partners to introduce a national minimum wage as part of efforts to restore the dignity of the majority of South Africans; address the triple challenges of poverty, under-development and inequality; and reduce pay differentials while maximising job creation.

The National Minimum Wage Research Initiative at Wits recently launched A National Minimum Wage for South Africa, a year-long study which advances the call for the implementation of the NMW and conclusively shows that the NMW reduces poverty and inequality without negatively affecting employment and economic growth.

About Professor Imraan Valodia

Professor Imraan Valodia is the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of KwaZulu Natal. His research interests include employment, the informal economy, gender, and industrialisation. He is currently coordinating an international study, in 10 cities, of the informal economy. His most recent book reports on the methodology and research findings of a three-year research project, conducted in eight countries, on the gender impact of taxation. He has published in leading international journals and is one of only a handful of South African economists with an NRF B-rating. He serves on a number of economic policy forums and has worked with leading international development organisations including the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, the United Nations Development Programme, UN Women, the World Bank, and Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising, among others. Professor Valodia is a part-time member of the Competition Tribunal and a Commissioner on the Employment Conditions Commission.

About the National Minimum Wage Research Initiative

The NMW-RI is located in the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. It is an independent academic research unit focusing on relevant contextual literature, statistical modelling, and policy design. Research is undertaken in collaboration with a range of local and international experts. For more information visit