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People and resources

Core team

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 focused on using new and existing data to develop 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 policymaking and analysis of 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.

Ujithra Ponniah, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Ujithra Ponniah is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS). She has a doctorate in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi (2018) and a Masters in Development Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. She has taught papers in the sociology of caste, gender, labor, development and social movements at undergraduate and masters levels. She has also worked with national and international research organizations and state governments on issues of food and nutritional security of indigenous groups, agrarian land relations and Dalit political leadership. Her research interests include economic elites and inequalities of caste and gender. At SCIS, she will be working on her book manuscript and developing the sociological elite lens to understand wealth inequality in South Africa.     

Comfort Molefinyana, Associate Researcher: Wealth Inequality

Comfort Molefinyana is an Associate Researcher on the Wealth Inequality project. She holds a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Previously, she worked as a consultant conducting applied research in the public sector. She has contributed to implementation and impact evaluations including government management systems, public procurement, municipal tariffs, public employment programmes, agriculture, and health. Comfort has co-authored published work in public procurement (BBBEE) and the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG). She has a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in Politics and Public Policy, and an honours degree in International Relations, both from the University of Cape Town. Her research interests include social and gender policy, inequality, and social protection.