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Professor Imraan Valodia

Dean Faculty of Commerce, Law & Management, University of Witwatersrand

Professor Imraan Valodia, an economist, is Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at Wits University. His research interests include inequality, competition policy, employment, the informal economy, gender and economic policy, and industrial development. Imraan has led the initiative at Wits to establish the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies - a multi-disciplinary, cross-country initiative to promote research and policy change to  promote greater equality in the global South. In addition to his duties as Dean, Imraan leads the SCIS. Imraan has led and participated in a number of large national and international studies. He is recognised nationally and internationally for his research expertise in economic development. Imraan is a part-time member of the Competition Tribunal in South Africa. He is also a commissioner of National Minimum Wage Commission, and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf) Standing Committee on Science for the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality. In August 2016 Professor Valodia was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to chair the Advisory Panel on the National Minimum Wage. This led to the introduction of a National Minimum Wage in South Africa.  In early 2018, he was appointed to a Panel to advise the Minister of Economic Development on amendments to the Competition Act, which were introduced into law in 2019. He was also  appointed by the Minister of Finance to a Panel of Experts to advise on Value-Added Taxes.

Professor Edward Webster

Distinguished Research Professor

Edward Webster is the Distinguished Research Professor at the Southern Centre of Inequality Studies and the founder and past director of the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is the author of seven books and over one hundred and twenty academic articles. He was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and the first Ela Bhatt Professor at the International Centre for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) at Kassel University in Germany. His co-authored volume, Grounding Globalisation: Labour in the Age of Insecurity, was awarded the American Sociological Association award for the best scholarly monograph published on labour. In May 2017, he published an edited volume, Crossing the Divide: Precarious Work and the Future of Labour locating the changing dynamics of work in a comparative context through research in India, Ghana and South Africa. In 2019 his co-edited volume, The Unresolved National Question: Left Thought Under Apartheid was short listed for the annual National Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) non-fiction award. His current research interests are on the production and reproduction of inequality in the workplace and the use of labour power as a strategy for reducing this inequality. 

David Francis

Deputy Director

David Francis is the Deputy Director at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, and a PhD candidate in Economics at Wits University. His research interests focus on labour market economics, the informal economy, and inequality. He was the researcher for the Advisory Panel on the minimum wage in South Africa. He has previously worked as a development consultant, and a policy and budget analyst at South Africa’s National Treasury, where he worked in health and social policy. He has an MA in development studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a bachelor of social sciences in economics and history from the University of Cape Town.

Arabo Ewinyu

Research and Engagement Manager

Arabo Ewinyu is the Project and Engagement Manager at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies. Arabo has a Master of Commerce in Economics Degree from the University of Witwatersrand. Her research interests include Labour economics, poverty and inequality studies, Competition and Regulatory Economics. Prior to joining SCIS, Arabo worked as a consultant for over nine years where she gained experience in collecting, evaluating and analysing data and qualitative economic information for clients across diverse sectors of the economy.

Michael Sachs

Research Manager: Public Economics

Michael Sachs has worked for over twenty-five years in public policy, politics and government in South Africa. He is former head of National Treasury’s budget office. He spent nine years at the national headquarters of the African National Congress, where he coordinated economic policy and led the party’s research agenda. He holds an MSc in Economics from the University of London (SOAS) and a Masters in Public Admin (International Development) from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Aroop Chatterjee

Research Manager: Wealth Inequality

Aroop Chatterjee leads the research agenda on wealth inequality at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies. Aroop is currently developing a strategy to bring disparate streams of related research across disciplines and countries under the lens of wealth inequality. He is also focussed on using new and existing data to develop a wealth distribution in South Africa. Previously he was the senior economist on labour issues at the National Treasury of South Africa, and was intimately involved in policy making and analysis on the labour market, including the Employment Tax Incentive, and the National Minimum Wage. He has an MSc Development Economics with distinction from the School of Oriental and African Studies, a BSc Economics from the University College London. He is also a Chartered Accountant.

Hibist Kassa

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Hibist Kassa is Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies. Her thesis was on a comparative study of Petty Commodity Production in mining in Ghana and South Africa. She was previously based at the Centre for Social Change in the University of Johannesburg. For her Mphil, in the Department of Political Science in the University of Ghana, she investigated the market restructuring of the labour regime in Ghana's Fourth Republic (1992-2010). She has also been part of feminist networks that advance heterodox analysis of macroeconomic policies and extractivism in the global South. 

Nthabiseng Mofokeng

Administrative Officer

Nthabiseng Mofokeng is an administration officer for Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS) in the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at Wits University. She has a BA Media Studies degree from Wits and worked in the media industry for more than six years. She started working for the university from 2016, at Faculty of CLM finance department, as the personal assistant to the Business manager. She is currently an occasional student, studying sociology.