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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.

Dr Mzukisi Qobo - Head of the Wits School of Governance

Dr Mzukisi Qobo was previously an Associate Professor of Strategy and International Business at the Wits Business School. He was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to serve on the Presidential Economic Advisory Council in 2019.

Qobo co-founded the Center for the Study of Governance Innovation at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, where he was also the deputy director.  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.

He has also led policy advisory work for government including on illicit financial flows (transparency in beneficial ownership) for the Department of Public Service and Administration; SMME Internationalisation Strategy for the Department of Small Business Development; and International Relations Strategy for the Gauteng Premier’s Office.

Qobo has been programme Head: Emerging Powers and Global Challenges at the South African Institute of International Affairs. He has written extensively on geopolitics, global governance, and leadership. He sits on the Board of Corruption Watch. 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.


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 is also the Academic Director at WSG.

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


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.


Marcel T. Korth

Marcel Tsholofelo Korth is a Lecturer in the Wits School of Governance. He holds an MA in Development Studies from the University of Johannesburg (2008). His current teaching and applied work focus on monitoring and evaluation, and his supervision revolves around monitoring systems, evaluation, and the use of evidence in decision-making, as well as youth development and gender-based violence.

Korth's background is in social justice work. He joined Wits from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) where he served as M&E Advisor for 15 countries in the southern African region. Prior appointments include Research Specialist at the University of Johannesburg with a focus on the use of evidence for policy-making; Programme Manager for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s southern African Criminal Justice and Violence against Women programme; and Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg, with a focus on Children and Youth, Gender, Urban Development and Research Methodology. His practical experience spans from working in and supporting a number of community-based organisations, primarily in youth development, to developing and managing social development programmes across the SADC region. 


Odile Mackett

Odile Mackett, a lecturer and PhD candidate in the School, holds a Masters of Commerce degree in Applied 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 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 difference in labour market outcomes and she has also written on poverty and South Africa’s social grants system.

She currently lectures quantitative methods and economics.

 Research interests

  • Labour markets
  • Poverty and inequality


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. Before 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. She currently lectures economics and quantitative methods. She is also an Academic Director at WSG.



Dr Darlene Miller

Dr Darlene Miller, a senior lecturer, completed a Doctorate in Sociology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US, with a focus on regional political economy. In her activist days she was the National Education Coordinator of SACCAWU, a COSATU retail trade union. She was also the Director of the Institute for African Alternatives, South Africa, a research and training Institute with chapters in London and across Africa. Her recent work includes film documentaries on women’s leadership, as well as project management of research on large-scale land acquisitions in Southern Africa. She was the Bloomberg Africa Fellow at Human Rights Watch in New York in the year of 9/11 and Senior Advisor to the CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council for the International Social Science Council, Paris. Her current research interests are feminist critiques of patriarchal accumulation in Southern Africa, women in leadership and food governance.


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

Professor Pundy Pillay, is a Professor of Economics and Public Finance and the Research Director at the WSG. 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.

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.

In addition to these, he has written the following journals and book chapters:

Pillay et al: Designing a Pro-Poor Bus Fare Policy for the City of Johannesburg, being considered for publication in ‘Research in Transportation Economics’; Research and Innovation in South Africa – in Schwartzmann et al (eds.),

Higher Education in the BRICS countries (2015); Pillay et al: Improving the fit: Making the Skills Development Levies Act work better in South African government departments, Journal of Public Administration, 49 (2), June 2014;

Pillay et al: Unemployment, vulnerability and economic empowerment: implications for career guidance and counseling for youth in South Africa (2014) in International Handbook of Career Guidance; Student Financing in the Developing World: Africa, (2013) in Student Financing of Higher Education: A Comparative Perspective, eds. Donald E Heller and Claire Callender.

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 are Oslo, Bologna, Dublin, Tubingen (Germany), and Wits. WSG is leading research on “Trade, development and global justice” in the project.

Research interests

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


Associate Professor Ivor Sarakinsky

Associate Professor Ivor Sarakinsky is a political philosopher who teaches public governance and the green economy at the WSG. He has supervised numerous topics in these areas and his research is published in top-rated international and national scholarly journals. He has direct experience of the public sector as a Chief Director responsible for the Green Economy in the Economic Development Department. He has also engaged in numerous consulting projects ranging from helping develop the governance assessment methodology for NEPAD’s African Peer Review Mechanism to working with municipalities on their Green Economy strategies and implementation processes. His current research deals with the changing nature of governance from static processes of accountability to complexity and the coordination of institutional sub-units to enable responsiveness to rapidly changing societal demands. These ideas inform his work on the green economy - institutional and financial adaptation and innovation are critical factors for responding to environmental eco-systems while addressing economic growth and employment creation.

Research interests

  • Green Economy
  • South African Public Governance: national, provincial and local
  • State Owned Enterprise Governance
  • Governance, Corruption and Development Issues
  • Political Theory, Ethics and Governance
  • Policy, Implementation and Monitoring and Evaluation


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 and is an adjunct professor in the Wits School of Governance.

He holds a Masters in economics from the University of Cape Town and has worked in the areas of health economics and finance, public finance and social security in various capacities over the past 23 years.

This includes participation in the Melamet Commission of Inquiry into medical schemes, the Taylor Committee of Inquiry into Comprehensive Social Security, and the Ministerial Task team on Social Health Insurance.

Over the period 2000 to 2010 he worked as an advisor to the Council for Medical Schemes, which he was responsible for establishing, and in an advisory capacity to the social security policy processes (including the Department of Social Development, the National Treasury, and the Inter-departmental Task Team on Social Security) taking forward the recommendations of the Taylor Committee.

Research interests

  • Health and social security policy
  • Health economics and finance
  • Social security finance
  • Public finance
  • Competition economics
  • Governance and accountability
Associate Professor Anthoni van Nieuwkerk

Associate Professor Anthoni van Nieuwkerk holds an MA in political science from the University of Johannesburg and a PhD in international relations from Wits University, Johannesburg. He has been research-active from the early 1990s and has pursued an academic career in teaching, training and policy analysis from 2000.

He is based at the Wits School of Governance (WSG), where he coordinates Security studies. In 2013 he received recognition by the National Research Foundation as a rated scholar and in recent years, held positions as Assistant Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management and WSG Academic Director. In 2015, the South African government appointed him to the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR) where he serves as a Steering Committee member. In 2018 he was appointed as a member of the Presidential Review Panel on Intelligence.

Van Nieuwkerk has developed comprehensive skills as an institutional architect. He publishes widely on African foreign and security policy, has participated in several scenarios development exercises, and has broad experience with advising African policymakers on foreign and national security policy processes and frameworks.

He is a visiting lecturer and external examiner in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent, and serves as editorial board member of the accredited journals African Security, Administratio Publica and European Journal of International Studies.


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.


Dr Jacqui Poltera

Dr Jacqui Poltera, a senior lecturer, holds a PhD in Philosophy focused on ethical theory from Macquarie University, Sydney. She was awarded a Masters and Honours from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University. On completing her PhD, she held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy at Western Sydney University. She has been actively involved in the Ethics and Integrity and Anti-Corruption modules for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Education for Justice initiative.

Prior to her appointment at WSG, she worked as a senior consultant in Melbourne, Australia. Her consulting work focused on evaluating and planning public health and social services systems. She also has experience working in government, project managing and implementing large scale national policies and reform at the provincial level. During this period Poltera held affiliate positions with the University of Adelaide, School of Population Health and the University of Tasmania.

Poltera’s doctorate and associated research focused on theories of agency and identity. Specifically, the ways in which contingencies such as violence, trauma and/or oppression threaten agency. She has published her work in national and international peer-reviewed journals and lectured at universities in Australia and South Africa on topics such as business and professional ethics, public health, media ethics and the law, epistemology, critical thinking and logic.

  • Ethical leadership
  • Anti-Corruption
  • Agency and identity
  • Professional ethics and governance
  • Feminist ethics
  • Violence and oppression


Associate Professor Erin McCandless

Erin McCandless, Associate Professor, is a widely published scholar and policy advisor with over two decades of experience working on and in conflict affected settings, broadly on issues of peacebuilding, statebuilding, security, governance, development and resilience - and their intersections. 

Dr McCandless directs a research and policy dialogue project, ‘Forging Resilient Social Contracts’, and serves as a civil society Co-Chair on the ‘New Deal’ Implementation Working Group of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding. Consulting widely across the United Nations and with other international organisations, she conducts research and evaluation to inform policy and programme design for peace impact, facilitates strategic processes and conducts trainings. 

She is the author of more than fifty publications, including three books and several influential United Nations reports, i.e. “Peace Dividends: Contributions of Administrative and Social Services on Peacebuilding,” and “Second Generation DDR Practices in Peace Operations.” She is also co-founder and Books Editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development.  

McCandless recently relocated to South Africa from New York, where she taught in the New School’s Graduate Program of International Affairs for ten years.

More information can be found on her website:; and her project website: 

Research interests

  • Conflict and fragility, peacebuilding and prevention – and development linkages
  • Political settlements and resilient social contracts
  • Inclusive transitions: processes and outcomes
  • Social movements and transformative social change
  • UN peace operations and international aid
  • Benchmarking and transition, evaluation for peace impact
  • Statebuilding, institutions and social cohesion




Professor Robert Van Niekerk Van Niekerk

Professor Robert Van Niekerk 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.  A 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’ is due for publication in October 2019 by Wits University Press.


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 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 and is currently an Atlantic Philanthropies Scholar.

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 the public sphere
  • Post-apartheid feminisms
  • Early Intellectual histories of women in constitutional politics


Halfdan Lynge-Mangueira

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 people.

In addition, he has an interest in data science and its application to public policy. Halfdan 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:

  • Elections and voter behaviour
  • Polling and public opinion
  • Clientelism and corruption
  • Public spending
Dr Ruth Murambadoro 

Dr Ruth Murambadoro is a senior lecturer in peace, security and governance with over seven years’ experience in conducting transdisciplinary research in marginalised communities in fragile states. She holds a DPhil in Political Sciences, an MA in Political Sciences, BA (Hons) International Relations and BPolSci all from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Additionally, she has obtained postgraduate certificates in conflict management, African Thought Leadership, political psychology, post-conflict transitions, and international justice from the International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI), the Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute (TMALI) and the Central European University.

Murambadoro has served on the board of directors of the African Studies Association, USA as representative of the Emerging Scholars Network (2016-2018), and committee member of the Transformation Committee of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria (2015-2018). Since 2011, she has been involved in various research projects, which were funded through the CODESRIA Collaborative Research Network (CRN), the African Peacebuilding Network (APN), the Templeton Foundation, Irish Aid and the Social Science Research Council.

Her recognised work includes being shortlisted and a runner-up for the Africa Thesis Award under the African Studies Centre Leiden, Leiden University, Netherlands in 2015. She is a recipient of the Visiting Research Fellowship from the Centre of African Studies Cambridge (2019), the TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visits Award (2019), a Guest Researcher fellowship award from the Nordic Africa Institute (2020). Additionally she was a recipient of the USA-based African Studies Association Presidential Fellowship Award (2015), a three-time recipient of the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellowship Award (2015-2018), a recipient of the African Pathways Doctoral Fellowship (2015-2017) under the National Institution for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), and the Tuks Young Research Leader Award from the University of Pretoria (2017).

Some of her research has been published by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, African Journal for Conflict Resolution (AJCR), the Strategic Review of Southern Africa (SRSA), OSSREA and Kujenga Amani to mention a few. Her research experience and interests include peacebuilding, transitional justice, African justice systems, governance, democratic citizenship, gender, sexual and reproductive health and rights and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).


Dr Caitlin Blaser Mapitsa

Dr 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.

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 both from the North-West University, as well as a Master of Science degree in Economics from the National University of Lesotho. During his Master’s 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 took up the position of a lecturer in economics at the North-West University in 2008 and his academic skills in the field were natured there. During this period, Khumalo held the position of Programme Manager (Head of Departmentresponsible for overseeing the smooth functioning of the department.  

Prior to joining the Wits School of Governance, he held a senior lectureship position in economics at the University of South Africa in the Department of Economics, where he was involved with teaching econometrics and advanced international economics for nearly seven years. He also served at various committees while there, including among others being a member of the department’s Higher Research Committee and college short-learning programme committee. He was an active supervisor of masters and doctoral students in monetary policy shocks, investment and economic growth. He has been an NRF reviewer and panel member on EMAS and Education and Learning Research cluster since 2018. Khumalo’s research focuses more on finance and aid for development and economic growth in the sub-Saharan African and emerging economies.  He currently facilitates lectures in public finance and supervises masters and doctoral students within the school. 

Research interests 

  • Financial development 
  • Economic growth 
  • Foreign aid 
  • Monetary policy and Investment 


Professor David Everatt

David Everatt, Professor of Urban Governance, has over 25 years of experience in applied socio-economic and development research, political and governance reform, designing and implementing monitoring systems, and programme evaluation, across sub-Saharan Africa. He is the former Head of the Wits School of Governance.

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. David 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 and the National Statistics Council.

Research interests

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