Staff - Wits University
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WSG academic staff

There are over 40 highly qualified academics, including full and part time staff, at the WSG. With a broad diversity of experience and sectoral focus, we are in a position to offer over 40 short courses. Our academics are known for advising African policymakers on foreign and national security policy processes and frameworks as well as local policy makers. They have experience in social activism, working with trade unions and in global organisations. Several are sought-after for interviews and contribute to media reports by providing their expert analysis on various subjects.

Professor Mzukisi Qobo - Head of the Wits School of Governance

Professor Mzukisi Qobo is the Head of the Wits School of Governance and formerly Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy at the Wits Business School. He serves on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Economic Advisory Council.

Previously, Qobo was co-founder and deputy director at the Center for the Study of Governance Innovation at the University of Pretoria. At the South African Institute of International Affairs, he served as programme head and pioneered a research area on emerging powers and global challenges.

In the past, he has held a senior leadership role in government as chief director responsible for developing South Africa’s trade policy at the Department of Trade and Industry. Qobo has also led policy advisory work for government and international organisations including on illicit financial flows, and International Relations Strategy for the Gauteng Premier’s Office, and governance and performance of state-owned enterprises for the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa.

He has extensive experience in the fields of governance, international trade, geopolitics, and strategy. He obtained his PhD from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom; MA from the University of Stellenbosch; and BA from the University of Cape Town. His book US, China and Africa in the Changing Global Order was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2021.

Most Recent Publications:

  1. Qobo, Mzukisi (with Khwezi Mabasa). 2021. “The Impact of New Technologies on Labour Relations and Market Structures: The Case of Uber”. In Mazibuko-Makena, Zamanzima and Kraemer-Mbula, Erika (eds). Leap 4.0: African Perspectives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Johannesburg: Mistra.
  2. Qobo, Mzukisi. 2020. “Unprincipled Pragmatism and Anti-Imperialist Impulses in an Interconnected World: The Zuma Presidency, 2009 – 2017”. In Bischoff, Paul-Henri (ed). African Foreign Policies. London: Routledge.
  3. Qobo, Mzukisi (with Le Pere, Garth). 2018. “Between Resource Extraction and Industrialising Africa”, in Alden, Chris and Large, Dan (eds). New Directions in China-Africa Studies. London: Routledge.
  4. Qobo, Mzukisi (with Le Pere, Garth (2018). “The Role of China in Africa’s Industrialization: The Challenge of Building Global Value Chains”, Journal of Contemporary China, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp.208-228.
  5. Qobo, Mzukisi (2017). “South Africa’s Foreign Policy and Nation-Branding: Regional Leadership and its Discontent”, Journal of Strategic Review for Southern Africa, Vol 39 (1), May 2017.
  6. Soko, Mills and Qobo, Mzukisi (2017). “Economic, Trade, and Development Relations between South Africa and the European Union: The End of Strategic Partnership? A South African Perspective”, South African Journal of International Affairs, Volume 24 Issue 2, pp.137-157.



Dr Caryn Abrahams

Caryn Abrahams, a senior lecturer, holds a PhD in Social and Political Science from the University of Edinburgh, in the Centre for African Studies. 

She completed her Masters, Honours and undergrad degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand, with specialisation in Human and Urban Geography. Before joining the WSG, Caryn was a senior researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory – a partnership of Wits University, University of Johannesburg and Gauteng Province – where she focused on social cohesion, anti-racism, urban inclusion, and urban food systems in Gauteng Province.

Previously, Abrahams completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Development Studies at UNISA, and was the research manager at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, a prominent civil society organisation concerned with deepening non-racialism in South Africa. At the NGO she designed an exhibition on Eight Decades of Kathrada’s Life, oversaw public discussion series, commissioned research and contributed to the Presidency’s 20 Year Review on Social Cohesion.

Before completing her doctoral studies, Abrahams lectured development and post-development at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Geography. She has guest lectured at the University of Edinburgh, Sociology, and taught a module on Sustainable Development at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Abrahams’ research and publications are concerned with two areas of work – governing urban food systems (the basis of her doctoral studies), and anti-racism and social cohesion (an interest that grew from her civil society involvement). She has published work on alternative food networks in the developing South, supermarkets and informal food markets, and the developmental imperative in urban food systems thinking. She has also published work on non-racialism, social cohesion, and has forthcoming chapters on the future of race in South Africa, and uncertainty and nation-building in South Africa in edited collections. She is the editor of and contributor to the GCRO’s Pathways to Anti-Racism (2016). Her interest in governance brings together these bodies of work – how food systems or societal interaction are co-governed by the interests at work, particularly by the imperatives of ordinary people. 

Abrahams’ research is anti-disciplinary as it draws on a range of scholarship broadly in the social sciences – urban studies, development, economic geography, sociology, politics – but is not confined to a particular discipline. Her research interests and curiosities include anti-racism, urban inclusion, urbanity, urban food systems, urban society, Batho Pele governance, micro forms of governance, and localisation. 

Research interests

  • Urban planning 
  • Development 
  • Agribusiness 
  • Intergovernmental relations and governance 
  • Local councillors and local politics 
  • Race, social cohesion and social change


Dr Christine Hobden

Christine Hobden is a senior lecturer in Ethics and Public Governance. She holds a DPhil in Politics (Political Theory) from Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Before joining Wits School of Governance, Hobden lectured in Philosophy at the University of Fort Hare (2017 – 2021) and held a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellowship at the European University Institute (2015 – 2016).

Hobden currently holds an Iso Lomso Fellowship for early career African Scholars at the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study (2019 – 2022). She is an editor at Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory and a part of the leadership of the Association of Political Theory in Africa (APTA).

Her research explores normative questions about democratic citizenship and international justice. Her recently completed book, Citizenship in a Globalised World, conceptualises a state-based citizenship that is fundamentally collective and globally-oriented. Her current research projects develop an account of political consumerism as a channel of civic responsibility and, drawing on the life and work of Rick Turner, an argument for becoming ‘engaged political philosophers’.

More information can be found on her website.

Research Interests:

  • Normative dimensions of democratic citizenship
  • Political consumerism
  • South African citizenship law and practice
  • Normative dimensions of global and international justice
  • Collective responsibility




Murray Cairns

Murray Cairns is a principal tutor and joined the WSG in 1997 as finance manager, and remained on the administrative staff of the School in various capacities until 2009 when he became an academic. He runs the Writing Centre at the school, and is the Convenor for the Masters of Management. His teaching started in the area of HIV and AIDS both at WSG and the Wits Business School, but has moved to research conceptualisation, research methods and proposal development. Cairns’ teaching is focused on assisting students to conceptualise and define their research focus, to build an analytical lens, and to explore the literatures that guide their disciplinary area.

Cairns supervises in the broad area of the social response HIV and AIDS, HIV and AIDS policy analysis and implementation.  Much of his supervision has focused on policy issues that affect minorities and vulnerable groups, as well as broad policy implementation topics. He provides support to the school in the development and construction of curricula for degrees and short courses, as well as system development and web application development.


Odile Mackett

Odile Mackett, a lecturer and PhD candidate in the School, holds a Master of Commerce degree in Applied Development Economics from Wits University, a Bachelor of Commerce honours degree in International Trade and Finance, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies (majoring in Politics and Economics), both from the University of Johannesburg.

Her PhD research is a gendered critique of the International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work Agenda, and she specifically focuses on how women’s unpaid reproductive labour responsibilities adversely affect their labour market prospects. Her Master’s research focussed on gender differences in labour market outcomes and she has also written on poverty and South Africa’s social grants system.

In addition to decent work and women’s unpaid reproductive labour, her current research projects include an investigation of household composition changes, the effects thereof on labour market attachment, and its implications for the efficacy of South Africa’s social security programmes. An updated list of her most recent publications can be viewed at

Mackett is an associate editor for the African Review of Economics and Finance as well as an associate member of the Pan-African Scientific Research Council.

She currently lectures quantitative methods and economics.

Research interests

  • Labour economics
  • Gender economics
  • Social security
  • Household formation


Kholiswa Malindini

Kholiswa Malindini is a lecturer and holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She completed her Honours and undergraduate degrees at Walter Sisulu University, with specialisation in Economics and Econometrics.

Prior to joining the WSG, Malindini was a full-time teacher at Umtata High School and a part-time lecturer at Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape where she taught Economics and Business management. At the WSG, she currently lectures Economics and Analytical Methods; has served in the Academic Office as a co-Academic Director. She is also a final year PhD candidate.

Research interests

  • Development economics
  • Macroeconomic policy and modelling
  • International finance
  • Financial development



Professor Kwandiwe Kondlo

Professor Kwandiwe Kondlo  (DLitt et Phil) is the new Academic Director of Wits School of Governance. He spent 10 years as a Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of Politics and International Relations at University of Johannesburg. He was previously a Senior Professor and Director of the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State.

He holds an MA from the University of Cape Town, and a DLitt et Phil (PhD) from the University of Johannesburg. He has sole authored two books, co-edited five books. Among his widely cited publications are his classic publication ‘In the Twilight of the Revolution – The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, 1959-1994’. The other book he co-edited with Professor Ejiogu, titled ‘Africa in Focus – Governance in the 21st Century’ has also made serious waves in the African continent.

Kondlo has supervised and moderated numerous MA and PhD students as well as Postdoctoral Research Fellows at various Universities including UJ, Wits, Australian National University, University of Basel (Switzerland), NMMU, Unisa, University of Free State and many others.

He has worked in government and fully understands the dynamics of the public sector. He has also worked with the private sector as the CEO of what used to be known as SACOB, later transformed during his tenure into what is now known as the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Kondlo is also widely known as a political analyst and has made numerous appearances in both local and international news. He is originally from the Eastern Cape and now leaves in Johannesburg.





Dikgang Motsepe

Dikgang Motsepe is an economist and a senior lecturer at the WSG, focusing on macro-economic policy, and public finance.

Motsepe has a Masters in Development Finance from the University of Stellenbosch, and both a BCom and BCom (Hons) in Economics from the University of Cape Town.

Before joining academia, he worked as a senior economist at the NEPAD Secretariat in the office of Professor Nkuhlu, the Economic Advisor to President Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki and Chairman of the NEPAD Steering Committee; Programme Manager/Economist at the Business Trust, managing the community investment programme focusing on the Presidential Nodal Economic Development Programme; and a financial market economist at the South African Reserve Bank. Motsepe has gained experience in the field of financial markets and development economics.


Professor Pundy Pillay

Pundy Pillay is Professor of Economics and Public Finance. He earned a PhD in Economics and an MA in Economics from the University of Cape Town. He completed his BA Honours at Wits University. Prior to joining the school he was a Visiting Professor at the Universities of the Western Cape and Johannesburg from 2007 to 2010.

Between 2001 and 2007 he was a Senior Economist at RTI International. He was Head of the Policy Unit in the Office of the President between 1998 and 2000 and the Executive Director of the Financial and Fiscal Commission between 1995 and 1997. He began his academic career at the University of Cape Town where he was a Senior Lecturer in Economics from 1983 to 1994.

Recent research in the local government sector include ‘Developing a Pro-poor Bus-Fare Policy for the City of Johannesburg’, ‘A review of Community-Based Planning’ also for the City of Johannesburg, and ‘Transport Planning and Planners for the Local Government SETA.

Pillay’s publications include the books Higher Education in the BRICS countries (2015), co-edited with Simon Schwarzmann and Romulo Pinheiro, Springer; Higher Education and Economic Development in Africa(2015), with N Cloete, P Maassen, T Bailey, and I Bunting, CHET, Cape Town; Linking Higher Education and Economic Development: Implications for Africa from Three Successful Systems, (2010) CHET, Cape Town.

He is currently leading the WSG’s participation in an international five-university Horizon 2020 research project on “The EU and Global Justice”. The universities involved are Oslo, Bologna, Dublin, Tubingen (Germany), and Wits. WSG is leading research on “Trade, development and global justice” in the project.

He previously served as the Research Director at the School.

Research interests

  • Economics and Public Policy
  • Public Finance
  • The Political Economy of Development in Africa
  • Economics of Education
  • Inequality and Poverty


Associate Professor Geci Karuri-Sebina

Geci Karuri-Sebina, an Associate Professor at the WSG holds a Bachelors’ degree in Computer Science and Sociology (Iowa); Master's Degree in Urban Planning and Architecture from UCLA (Los Angeles); and a PhD from Wits University.

Karuri-Sebina hosts the Civic Tech Innovation Network at the School and works on issues of innovation systems, urban development policy and governance, and futures and foresight. She is also associated with the University of Cape Town’s African Centre for Cities, South African Cities Network, and Singularity University’s Global Faculty on the future of cities and governance.

She previously worked with South Africa’s National Treasury, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Human Sciences Research Council, and the UCLA's Advanced Policy Institute. She has also served on the South African Council of Planners, the Johannesburg Development Agency Board, and the national Ministerial Task Team on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of AfricaLICS (the community of innovation scholars in Africa) and Regional Advisor of the Africa Innovation Summit. Karuri-Sebina is also a curator in The Emergence Network, and is involved in editorial boards or teams of: the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation & Development (AJSTID; Taylor & Francis), Foresight Journal (Emerald), and the African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC; Wits LINK centre).

She currently lectures on innovation systems policy for developing countries, and innovation systems for social purposes.

Research interests:

  • Innovation systems for African development
  • Digital transformation, including govtech and civic tech
  • Urban governance and the future of African cities
  • Futures literacy, foresight, disciplines of anticipation
  • Decolonial studies linked to socio-technical change


Space, people and technology: Reclaiming the narrative on cities (Forthcoming, 2022). Book Volume 2 of The Built Environment in Emerging Economies (BEinEE) series, published by  AOSIS Books. Co-edited with Prof Amira Osman (Tshwane University of Technology).

Re-imagining the Future: City region foresight and visioning in an era of fragmented governance (Forthcoming, 2022). Regional Studies, Taylor and Francis. Guest Editor with Tim Dixon (Reading), Mark Tewdwr-Jones (UCL) & Joe Ravetz (Manchester).

Reconceptualising Foresight and its Impact: Experiences in Decolonising Futures from the global South (Forthcoming, 2022). Regional foresight journal, Emerald UK. Guest Editor with Riel Miller and Eva Kwamou Feukeu (UNESCO).

Playing in the Gap: Re-Futuring African Cities (2021). RISE Africa, ICLEI. Co-authored with Thireshen Govender.

Can innovation address Africa’s challenges? (2021). Special Issue of African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (AJSTID), Taylor and Francis. Guest Editor with Olugbenga Adesida &  Erika Kraemer-Mbula.

Women in Property and Urban Development (June 2021). Special issue of Journal of African Real Estate Research, African Real Estate Society / University of Cape Town. Guest Editor with Karen Gibler (Georgia State University).

Urban Africa’s futures: perspectives and implications for Agenda 2063 (2019). Foresight, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 95-108, Emerald. Author.

Transforming the Future: Anticipation in the 21st Century (2018). Chapter 5 contributor for UNESCO book project published by Routledge, edited by Riel Miller (UNESCO).

Embedding Urban Innovation: Perspectives, Trends and Experiences (2018). Chapter 2 for book Urban Innovations: Researching and Documenting Innovative Responses to Urban Pressures edited by Philip Harrison and Margot Rubin (Wits). Author.

BRICS Cities: Facts and Analysis (2017). South African Cities Network and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Project leader.

Urban Futures: Anticipating a world of cities!  (2016). Guest editor with K. Haegeman and A. Ratanawaraha for Special Issue: foresight: The journal of futures studies, strategic thinking and policy. Vol.18, No.5, 2016.

Innovation Africa: Emerging Hubs of Excellence (2016). Edited book published by Emerald Books. Co-edited with Drs Olugbenga Adesida and João Resende-Santos.

Right to the City and Public Spaces: Inner-City revitalisation In South Africa’s Capital City (2015). Chapter for book The Rights to the City for a Safe and Just World: The case of BRICS (Direito à Cidade para um mundo justo e seguro: o caso dos BRICS) edited by BRICS Policy Centre and Oxfam, Brazil. Co-authored with O. Koma.

Fictions, Factors and Futures: Reflections on Africa's ‘impressive growth’ (2012). Development, Vol.55, No. 4, pp.491–496, Palgrave. Co-authored with R. Maharajh, A. Sall and A. Segobye.



Adjunct Professor Alex van den Heever

Adjunct Professor Alex van den Heever presently holds the Chair of Social Security Systems Administration and Management Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.

He holds a Masters in economics from the University of Cape Town and has worked professionally the areas of health economics and finance, public finance and social security in various capacities in South Africa since 1989.

These include positions in the Department of Finance (Central Economic Advisory Services), the Industrial Development Corporation, Centre for Health Policy at WITS, the Gauteng Department of Health, and the Council for Medical Schemes. Work has included participation in the Melamet Commission of Inquiry into Medical Schemes (1993-4), a member of the Council for Medical Schemes (1996-8) the Committee of Inquiry into Comprehensive Social Security (2000-2), a member of the medicines Pricing Committee (2007-2011), the Ministerial Task team on Social Health Insurance (2003-5) and the Health Market Inquiry for the Competition Commission (2016-19).

Research interests:

  • Health and social security policy
  • Health economics and finance
  • Social security finance
  • Public finance
  • Competition economics
  • Governance and accountability


Dr Kagiso Pooe

Dr Kagiso “TK” Pooe is a senior lecturer focusing on Public Policy themes such as (1) Local Economic Development in Local Government (2) Law and Economic Development Policy and the role of institutions within this process (3) Scenario Planning thinking and planning (4) Failure Analysis within Public Policies and institutions.

Over the last ten years he has lectured and consulted for various institutions like the North West University’s Government Studies in the Vaal campus, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard College), Gordon Institute of Business Science (University of Pretoria) and the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute.

Before joining academia on a fulltime basis he worked as a Public Policy research consultant at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and researcher for Integrated Development Planning Unit at the Sedibeng District Municipality.

Outside his professional life he is former National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences Fellow, a 2019 Managing Global Governance Fellow of the Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik, and has served as a Board Member at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in his hometown of Evaton (Vaal). He is a South African and Smooth Jazz, old school RnB enthusiast and is an aspirant squash player.


Dr Kambidima Wotela

Dr Kambidima Wotela is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholar and a William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fellow. He studied demography and population studies for all his degrees. During his studies, he picked up academic skills in ethnography, quantitative and qualitative research approaches, designs, and methods.

He started his career life in 1994 working for the Zambian planning department—the former National Commission for Development Planning as an economist cum demographer and rose to the post of senior planner in 1999 before he left in 2001. As a civil servant, he picked up practical skills in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development interventions. He put these skills to use when he joined a World Bank initiated technical intervention—called the Technical Education Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) Development Programme—as a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. In this capacity, he designed the TEVET monitoring and evaluation system including a mechanism for tracking and reporting on the progress of students graduating from institutions offering technical and vocational training in Zambia. In addition, after completing his Master of Science degree in 1998, he lectured part-time at the University of Zambia before he took up the position on a full-time basis. He left Zambia in 2004 to pursue his doctoral degree with the prestigious Centre for Actuarial Research (CARe) at the University of Cape Town.

Wotela teaches analytical methods, research methodology, and economic development and population trends at the Wits School of Governance. He also supervises research students pursuing their masters and doctoral degrees in public and development management. He continues to write on Zambian history, anthropology, and demography as he takes up a new line of research in development, public policy, leadership, governance, monitoring and evaluation.

Research interests

  • Development interventions particularly institutionalisation and tuition of monitoring and evaluation as well as the link between development, public policy, leadership, governance, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Business and public administration students' research techniques, tuition and supervision particularly structured approaches to (i.) conceptualising "what" research and (ii.) deriving interpretive (theoretical) and conceptual "how" frameworks.
  • Zambian demography and population studies.


Professor Robert Van Niekerk Van Niekerk

Professor Robert Van Niekerk holds a BA (English) & BA Hons (Industrial Sociology) from the University of Cape Town, an MSc (Social Policy) from the London School of Economics (LSE) and an MPhil and DPhil (Comparative Social Policy) from the University of Oxford. He was a holder of the LSE Students Union Anti-Apartheid Scholarship. 

Van Niekerk’s current research projects in development for funding include a comparative international research project on ‘Cultures of Social Solidarity and the Public Good’ with scholars based at the University of Havana, Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo and the Catholic University of Luanda and an international comparative research project on ‘Re-imagining the Ethos of an Efficient and Capable Public Service in South Africa’ focused on the health service.

He will also look at the evolution of policy thinking in South Africa on social democracy and the establishment of a re-distributive welfare state that can lock the middle-class into the provision of public goods such as a national health service and a single, comprehensive system of education.

He has secured research grants (and been invited to participate in research projects funded by) from institutions including the Department for International Development, the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), the Mellon Foundation and the World Health Organisation.

He has co-edited special issues and published (and co-authored) journal articles in Social Policy and Administration, the South African Medical Journal; Health Policy and Planning; Transformation and the Journal of African American History as well as co-edited volumes on the politics of South African health care reform and authored articles on social democracy, social citizenship and the African National Congress.  He co-authored book with Professor Vishnu Padayachee, Shadows of Liberation: Contestation and Compromise in the Economic and Social Policy of the African National Congress, 1943–1996’.


Rekgotsofetse Chikane

Rekgotsofetse Chikane is a lecturer in public policy and is also a political commentator, activist and the author of Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation: The Politics behind the #MustFall Movements. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford (Blavatnik School of Government) having completed his Master in Public Policy degree in 2017 and he completed a Bachelor in Social Science (Hons) degree at the University of Cape Town in 2015 specialising in Public Policy, Public Administration and Economics.

He is Mandela-Rhodes Scholar, a Mandela-Washington Fellow, a Chevening Scholar, a former Masters Fellow at the Public Affairs Research Institute, one of Mail and Guardians Top 200 Young People (2016 – Civil Society) and an Obama Africa Programme leader for 2019.

He previously worked as the National President of InkuluFreeHeid, a non-partisan, youth organisation focused on deepening democracy and enhancing social cohesion in South Africa. He also worked as a Strategist at MegaTech AI, an emerging technology consulting firm.

Research interests

  • Complex Adaptive Systems in Governance
  • Decolonial Development
  • Youth centred politics and Youth Participation in Public Policy and Politics
  • Emerging Technology and Governance


Lihle Ngcobozi

Lihle Ngcobozi is a lecturer in Development and Governance. She is the author the Mothers of the Nation: Manyano Women in South Africa, a book which explores the intersection between the black church, liberation theologies, as well as a African feminist analysis of the public sphere in South Africa.

She graduated from Rhodes University with a Master’s degree in Political Studies and International Relations in 2017, in which she explored how the Women’s Manyano church group offer a space for the public performance of citizenship by black women. Ngcobozi also holds a postgraduate degree in International Relations. Ngcobozi holds the Allan Gray Center of Leadership Ethics fellowship. Previously, she worked as a Researcher at Iranti, which focused on the development of LGBTI rights in Southern Africa.

Research interests

  • Gendered approaches to citizenship and understanding of the public sphere
  • Post-apartheid feminisms
  • Early Intellectual histories of women in constitutional politics


Halfdan Lynge

Halfdan Lynge is a Senior Lecturer at the Wits School of Governance. His research explores the effects of politics on public policy; i.e. how the cost-benefit calculations of politicians affect the lives of ordinary citizens. In addition, he has an interest in data science and its application in public policy.

He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Oxford, UK and a master’s and bachelor’s degree from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He is the founder and board chair of Sauti, a market and public opinion research company specialised in mobile-based surveys, and a member of the Civic Tech Innovation Network reference group. He previously worked five years with the UN in Africa and Asia.

His last position was as Head of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he supervised a team of advisors to the UN Country Team. Lynge started his career as a governance specialist and continues to work as a governance consultant.

Research interests:

  • Political economy
  • Elections and voter behaviour
  • Data science and public policy 
  • Technology and governance


Dr Caitlin Blaser Mapitsa

Associate Professor Caitlin Blaser Mapitsa is a senior lecturer, holding a PhD in Migration and Displacement from the University of the Witwatersrand’s African Centre for Migration and Society. She received an MA from the same institution, a BA from Wellesley college in International Relations and French, and a Postgraduate Diploma from the University of Stellenbosch in Monitoring and Evaluation.

In 2022, she took on her new role as the Research Director at the School. 

She has worked as an evaluator in civil society, with Resilient Waters evaluating efforts to foster climate resilience in the Okavango and Limpopo river basins, as well as establishing learning systems with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty. She also worked with the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results, supporting efforts to strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems within public sector institutions across the region through peer learning.

Blaser Mapitsa’s research interests focus on two areas – the first is transboundary governance, of both land and people. She is interested in understanding what drives change in complex social and ecological systems, and which tools can best help us understand these changes. The second is on building contextually relevant evaluation approaches, and how evaluation can be a tool to align institutional practice with values systems and developmental objectives.


Dr John Khumalo

Dr John Khumalo is a senior lecturer and holds a doctoral degree in economics, Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance as well as a Masters in Economics. During his Masters’ studies in economics, he specialised in monetary economics, corporate finance and investment with a view to pursue a career in the financial sector, unbeknown that he would end up in academia. He started as a lecturer at the North-West University more than 14 years ago. In 2012 he took up the position of Programme Manager (Head of Department) responsible for overseeing the smooth functioning of the economics department.  

Before joining the Wits School of Governance, he was a senior lecturer at the University of South Africa within the economics department, where he was involved with teaching various economics modules. He was an active supervisor of masters and doctoral students with a quantitative focus. He has been an NRF reviewer and panel member on EMAS and Education and Learning Research cluster since 2018. His research focuses more on finance and aid for development and economic growth in the sub-Saharan African and emerging economies. He currently conducts lectures in economics and public finance and also advises masters and doctoral students at WSG. 

Research interests 

  • Finance for development 
  • Economic growth 
  • Foreign aid 
  • Money and banking
  • Investment


Professor David Everatt

Professor David Everatt has over 30 years of experience in applied socio-economic and development research, political and governance reform, M&E design and implementation across sub-Saharan Africa. He is the former Executive Director of CASE, founding partner of Strategy & Tactics (winner of two Impumulelo Black Empowerment awards), and founding Director of the Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Everatt was responsible for path-breaking research into youth marginalisation in South Africa in the early 1990s; his research into political violence was quoted at length by Nelson Mandela at the UN; he was the chief evaluator of the South African Constitutional Assembly between 1995 and 1997; and has researched issues from poverty and inequality to urbanism to class formation and voting behaviour.

He was Vice-President (sub-Saharan Africa) for the 'Sociology of Youth' committee of the International Sociological Association for 14 years, and now sits on their Advisory Board, and serves on the Board of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. He is also Chair of the South African Statistics Council. Former Head of School at the Wits School of Governance, Everatt now leads the team establishing an urban Health Demographic Surveillance Site across Gauteng province, under the aegis of the Gauteng Research Triangle which draws together the universities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Wits.

Research interests

  • Politics, polling and voting behaviour
  • Youth development
  • Development, poverty and inequality
  • Non-racialism, race and identity
  • Governance and reform
  • Public participation



Dr Nedson Pophiwa

Dr Nedson Pophiwa is a senior lecturer in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). He has conducted research and M&E projects for several funders and government departments. An economic historian by training, Nedson uses contemporary history methods and inter-disciplinary social science approaches to unpack current trends and challenges in public policy and development.

He holds a PhD in Economic History from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, an MA in Forced Migration Studies from Wits University, an MA in African Economic History as well as a BA Hons in Economic History, both from University of Zimbabwe.

His work experience spans across public, development and academic sectors. Prior to joining WSG, Pophiwa was a senior researcher at the National Consumer Commission where he led research projects on consumer protection. He has also worked for institutions such as the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR-AA), the Human Sciences Research Council and the Africa Institute of South Africa.  

In terms of his contribution to research, Nedson has published peer reviewed publications in journals, book chapters and also read papers at academic conferences. He is a co-editor of two books, namely, Evaluation Landscape in Africa: Context, methods and capacity, published by African Sun Media (2019) and Africa in a changing global environment: Perspectives of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in Africa, published by the Africa Institute of South Africa (2013).

Research interests;

  • Evidence-based policy-making 
  • Local and regional economic development
  • Governance of trans-border migration, mobility and trade
  • Made in Africa evaluation approaches and methods
  • Sustainable development


Dr Mapula Nkwana

Dr Mapula Nkwana is a Senior Lecturer of Public Policy and Governance at the Wits School of Governance (WSG). She holds a Doctor of Administration degree in Public Administration from the University of Pretoria (UP). She completed her Masters, Honours and undergraduate degrees at UP specialising in Public Administration and Public Management.

Before joining WSG, she worked as a Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Management and Administration (SPMA) at UP from January 2018 -March 2022 and as a Lecturer from 2012 – 2017 at the same institution.

Nkwana has experience working with various organisations as a facilitator through Enterprises UP, some of these organisations include the South African National Roads Agency and the National School of Government. She has also worked on research projects in collaboration with the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority and the South African Local Government Association.

Her research area is  focused on public policy formulation and implementation with reference to the achievement of food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nkwana has presented papers at both national and international conferences and published articles in peer-reviewed accredited journals and book chapters. In addition, she has supervised students postgraduate students on various topics in Public Administration and Public Policy.

Research interests:

  • Food and nutrition security
  • Public Policy
  • Multi-stakeholder collaboration
  • Public Administration education


Dr Hlengiwe Ndlovu

Hlengiwe Ndlovu, a Senior Lecturer, holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), in the Department of Sociology.

She completed her Masters, BA with honors and a Bachelor of Arts at Wits, majoring in Sociology, Industrial Sociology and International Relations. Before joining WSG, Ndlovu was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Free State where she lectured in the Department of Sociology.

Previously, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Women and Gender Studies at Nelson Mandela University and then joined the Centre for Social Change at the University of Johannesburg – initially as a postdoctoral fellow, then as a research associate where she is one of the principal investigators working on a collaborative research project on “democracy from below.”

Before completing her doctoral studies, Ndlovu lectured classical sociological theory and research methods at the University of the Western Cape’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She was also a sessional lecturer for Sociology Department at the University of the Witwatersrand lecturing the Researching Social Life module at Wits Plus. She has guest lectured at Eberhard Karl’s University of Tubingen English Department as well as School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, at Wits.

Her PhD thesis grappled with state/society relations, questions of gender representation in the local state and the everyday reproduction of the urban space as a form of democratic citizenship. Her research and publications are concerned with three areas: gender equality, democracy from below, local governance and social movements, collective actions and change. Ndlovu has written on the role of women in the #FeesMustFall movement, histories of participation of women in community protests and the precarity of women during the Covid-19 pandemic. She is also the co-editor of Rioting and Writing: Diaries of the Wits #Fallists, (2017) – a edited book documenting the experiences of student activists during the #FeesMustFall protests.

Outside the academic space, she is a Board Member at the Soul City Institute where she also sits on the Auditing, Finance and Risk Committee. As part of her academic citizenship, she facilitates an online module in Gender Relations and Women Emancipation for Members of Parliament at the O.R. Tambo School of Leadership. In 2020, she was named Mail & Guardian’s Top 50 South African Influential Women under the category of ‘The Guiding Women.’ In 2017, she received the Canon Collins Trust Social Impact Award for her project Reading for Tomorrow, which promotes reading African literature among primary and high school children. She is a political analyst commenting on issues of gender, protests, governance and service delivery and local and national politics.

Research interests:

  • Gender and feminism
  • Local, national and regional politics
  • Urban and political geographies
  • Urban and political anthropology
  • Poverty and inequality studies
  • Public governance and service delivery
  • Local governance, democracy and elections
  • Collective action: social movements and protests
  • Citizenship, identity and belonging
  • Labour studies
  • Classical/sociological theories
  • Research methodologies and methods
  • Comparative politics