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Welcome Interview for Tayarisha’s new Postdoctoral Fellow


Dr Maxwel Maseko joined the Wits School of Governance as a Tayarisha Centre postdoctoral fellow in June 2023.

Tayarisha Centre postdoctoral fellowDr Maxwel M. Maseko holds a PhD in Public Administration from the University of the Western Cape and has 26 years of experience working as a journalist in various news media organisations in South Africa and is currently a Postdoctoral fellow at the Tayarisha Centre.

His research interests lie in the fields of media and governance, particularly in areas of democracy, digitalisation in the public sector, protests, and citizen participation.

Dr Maseko is interested in pursuing new methods of governance and innovation in the public sector during his fellowship and assisting the centre to grow its research output. 

Zibusiso Manzini-Moyo interviewed Dr Maseko.

ZM: What is your educational background?

MM: I hold a PhD in Public Administration from the University of the Western Cape and a Civic Innovation Certificate from the Wits School of Governance.

ZM: Tell us about your area/field of interest.

MM: I am interested in researching media and governance, particularly in areas of digitalisation in the public sector, democracy, politics, protests, and public participation.

ZM: Why did you choose the field of study?

MM: I am interested in public life in general and the empowerment of citizens to engage and participate in democratic governments. I also worked as a journalist for 26 years telling the stories of citizens and in turn holding authorities to account for their actions.

ZM: What are some of the key discoveries you made in your work relating to societal challenges?

MM: There is a lack of awareness about the rights of citizens to hold officials to account for their actions, especially in poorer areas. Those people that want to participate in governance and political processes both online and offline seem to lack trust in the system and the officials in charge of government processes.

ZM: Is there any community-based work that you have done or are doing?

MM: I am exploring opportunities to work with high school learners to motivate them about taking up careers in the public service. Digital transformation has created exciting times for people (young and old) to also transform the way government works to benefit service delivery and civic participation.

ZM: What are your next goals?

MM: To do more rigorous research on how South Africans can tap into opportunities presented by online participation and collaborate with other researchers in the field in the country and beyond. Apart from getting my work published, I also want to assist postgrad students passionate about professionalising the public sector.

ZM: Tell us about your experience thus far at Wits.

MM: It has been busy for me since day one with writing papers and attending conferences. I have loved every minute of it. The colleagues have been great and very helpful, and the work environment is positive and encouraging.