People

Our team is made up of four groups of people. The Oversight Committee is a panel of local and international experts and representatives of different constituencies of South African society, it provides overall leadership and oversight of the project and approvals the research output. The Coordinating Committee is tasked with managing the project. The Researchers are responsible for producing the research output. The Reference Teams monitor and provide input into the research outputs; they comprise local and international experts on each topic.

Oversight Committee

Basani Baloyi
PhD Candidate, SOAS, University of London

Basani Baloyi is currently a PhD candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Between 2011 and 2012, Basani was the Director of Industrial Policy at the Department of Trade and Industry and after that a researcher at the Centre for Competition Regulation and Economic Development. Basani holds a BCom Politics, Philosophy and Economics and BCom (Honours) Economics from the University of Cape Town, an MA Public Policy and an MA Commerce from the University of the Witwatersrand.

 

Patrick Belser
Senior Economist, International Labour Organisation

Patrick Belser is an economist at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), where he coordinates the work of the “Wage Group” which undertakes research and provides policy advice to member States on wage policies. He is also the principal editor of the ILO Global Wage Report and one of the ILO’s foremost experts on minimum wages. Patrick previously worked for The World Bank and the Swiss Federal Department of the Economy. He has been based at the ILO for the last twelve years. Patrick holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Sussex.

 

 

Neo Bodibe
Strategic Support to the General Secretary, National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (NUMSA)

Neo Bodibe holds the position of Strategic Support to the General Secretary at the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA). She was most recently the Head of NUMSA’s Research and Policy Institute. She previously worked as a Principal Economic Analyst at the Competition Commission and as a Policy Analyst at The Presidency. She has published on industrial organisation, competition policy and Black Economic Empowerment. Neo holds a BCom (Honours) degree in Economics from the University of the Witwatersrand.

 

NeilNeil Coleman
Strategies Coordinator, COSATU Secretariat

Neil is a union activist and COSATU official of more than twenty-five years, having worked previously as the Coordinator of the Communications Department and Parliamentary Office and currently as the Strategies Coordinator in the COSATU Secretariat. Between May 2009 and December 2009 he served as Special Advisor to the Minister or Economic Development. Prior to joining COSATU, Neil was active in the United Democratic Front. He holds a BA degree in law from the University of the Witwatersrand.

 

 

Yoliswa Dwane
Chairperson, Equal Education.

Yoliswa Dwane is the Chairperson and head of Policy, Communications and Research at Equal Education, a non-governmental organisation aimed at improving South Africa’s education system which she co-founded in 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in law and a LLM from the University of Cape Town.

 

 

 

neil-colemanBen Fine
Professor of Economics, SOAS, University of London

Ben Fine is Professor of Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand. He also currently sits on the Social Science Research Committee of the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency. Ben’s research predominately focuses on the political economy of development. He has a long standing interest in South Africa’s political economy, notably being a contributing co-editor to the Macroeconomic Economic Research Group’s (MERG) report Making Democracy Work: A Framework for Macroeconomic Policy in South Africa in the mid-1990s and authoring, with Zavareh Rustomjee, South Africa’s Political Economy: From Minerals-Energy Complex to Industrialisation in 1997. He was one of four international experts advising President Mandela’s Labour Market Commission. Ben holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics.

isobel-fryeIsobel Frye
Director, Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII)

Isobel Frye is the director of the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute, an independent think tank. She previously worked as a senior researcher in poverty eradication at the COSATU think tank, NALEDI. Isobel holds a BA LLB and a Higher Diploma in Tax Law, both from the University of Cape Town.

 

 

 

salas_carlosCarlos Salas Paez
Professor of Economics at Insituto de Economia and Cesit (Center for the Study of Unions and Labor Economics) at Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil

Carlos Salas Paez is a professor at UAM-Iztapalapa, his research focuses include labour economics, in particular on labour in very small economic units, job quality, wage evolution and its determinants and gender segregation and income in Latin America. He holds an MA in Mathematics and a PhD in Economic Theory from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).

 

dennis-georgeDennis George
General Secretary, Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA)

Dennis George is the general secretary of the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA). Dennis has been involved in the labour movement since 1991, when he began organising for the Transnet Allied Trade Union. He has since been the Assistant General Secretary of the Technical Workers Union and Chairperson of the National Board for Further Education and Training. He holds a qualification from Da Vinci Institute of Technology Management.

 

 

hansjorg-herrHansjörg Herr
Professor of Economics, Berlin School of Economics and Law

Hansjörg Herr is a professor of economics at the Berlin School of Economics and Law. Hansjörg’s research focuses include areas such as poverty reduction in less developed countries and wages, employment and prices. His work also includes theoretical issues relating to minimum wages, in particular policy related questions from a Keynesian perspective. He has professional experience with the People’s Bank of China, the German Bundesbank and International Labour Organisation. Hansjörg holds a PhD from the Free University of Berlin.

 

 

 

Erika Kraemer-Mbula
Senior Lecturer, IERI and SciSTIP, Tshwane University of Technology

Erika Kraemer-Mbula is a Senior Lecturer of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) at Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa. IERI currently co-hosts a national DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics, and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (SciSTIP). Erika’s research interests have focused on public policy and innovation systems in connection to sustainable and equitable development. She has co-authored books on industrial competitiveness and the relationship between innovation and development. Erika holds a BA in Economics from the University of Cantabria, a MA in Science and Technology Policy from the University of Sussex and a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Oxford.

Christopher Malikane
Professor of Economics, University of Witwatersrand

Chris Malikane is the Director of the Macro-Financial Analysis Group at the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. His research focuses include macroeconomics and development economics, amongst other topics. Chris holds a PhD from the New School for Social Research in New York for which he received the Edith.

 

 

 

Robert Pollin
Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute, Distinguished Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Robert Pollin is the Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a post he has held since 1998. He has written extensively on labour market issues, including on minimum wages. He has also published work on the South African labour market and counts institutions like the International Labour Organisation amongst those he has worked for. He holds a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin and an MA and PhD in Economics from the New School for Social Research in New York.

 

 

Imraan Valodia
Dean, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand

Professor Imraan Valodia is the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Before this he was based at the School of Built Environment and Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal. His research interests include employment, the informal economy, gender and economic policy, and industrial development. He is currently co-ordinating an international study, in 10 cities across the globe, of the informal economy using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. His most recent book is a co-edited volume that reports on a three-year research project, conducted in 8 countries, on the gender impacts of direct and indirect taxation. He has published widely in leading international journals. Professor Valodia is a National Research Foundation (NRF) B-rated researcher.

Robert van Niekerk
Director of Institute of Social and Economic Research, Associate Professor of Social Policy

Robert van Niekerk is the Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) and Associate Professor of Social Policy at Rhodes University. His academic work focuses on the institutional history and ideologies of social policy and social change in South Africa, specifically with regard to policy targeted at overcoming inequality and building an inclusive social citizenship. He holds a BA (Honours) in Industrial Sociology from the University of Cape Town, MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics and a PhD in Social Policy from Oxford.

Coordinating Committee

Gilad Isaacs
Project Coordinator
Researcher, CSID, Wits and PhD Candidate, SOAS, University of London

Gilad is the coordinator of the National Minimum Wage Research Initiative. He is a researcher at CSID working on the European Union’s Fessud Project. He holds a MA in Political Economy from New York University and a MSc in Economics from SOAS, University of London, where he is currently completing his PhD. Gilad has a background in political activism and research interests in finance, macroeconomic policy, labour markets and the mineral sector.

 

 

nicholas-pon-vignonNicolas Pons-Vignon
Acting Director of CSID, Editor of the Global Labour Column

Nicolas is the Director of CSID and Editor of the Global Labour Column. He has been at the CSID since 2008, when he was appointed a Senior Researcher. His research focuses on economic development and issues of labour, industrial policy, poverty and development aid. He has edited the Global Labour Column since 2009. Prior to this, in 2007, he founded the African Programme for Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE). He has published widely on South African labour market issues. Nicolas holds a Bachelors and Masters from Sciences-Po (Paris), MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and a PhD from the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris.

 

pic for blurb2Dr Lotta Takala-Greenish
Senior Researcher, CSID, University of the Witwatersrand

Lotta is a senior researcher at CSID, School of Economics and Business Sciences at the University of Witwatersrand. She holds PhD Economics (SOAS), MSc. Economics (SOAS) and MSc. Management (LSE) degrees from the University of London. Her research interests are in fieldwork-led academic or policy work with a focus on national and regional industrialisation, industrial policy, and the informalisation and casualisation of labour.

 

iian-straussIlan Strauss
PhD candidate at The New School for Social Research, Consultant United Nations Centre for Trade and Development

Ilan works as a regular consultant for UNCTAD on the World Investment Report and currently also for the International Labour Organization (ILO). He has worked for the United Nations Economics Commission in Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank, TIPS, and CCSI at Columbia University. He is also currently an adjunct economics lecturer at New York University (NYU). He is a PhD student at the New School in New York.

Researchers

 

adam-aboobaker Adam Aboobaker
Researcher, CSID and MA candidate at the University of Paris 13 and University of the Witwatersrand

Adam is a researcher at CSID and a Masters candidate in the Economic Policies in an Age of Globalisation (EPOG) program. He holds a BA (Honours) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Cape Town. His research interest is in the broad area of growth and distribution, specifically regarding labour market issues, finance and macroeconomic development.

 

 

ruth-castel-brancoRuth Castel-Branco
Researcher
PhD Candidate, University of the Witwatersrand

Ruth is a researcher with the National Minimum Wage Initiative, a PhD candidate with the University of the Witwatersrand and fellow of the International Centre for Development and Decent Work. She holds an MA in Development Studies from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and a BA in Geography and African Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously she was the project coordinator for social protection in Mozambique at the International Labour Office. Her research interests include labour process, workers organizations, social protection and linkages between the formal and informal economy.

 

adam-finnArden Finn
Researcher, South African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU)

Arden holds a BCom (Honours) from the University of Cape Town and a MSc in Economics for Development from the University of Oxford. He is currently working on his PhD at UCT where his research is focused on economic mobility in South Africa. His other research interests include labour economics, and the economics of education, poverty and inequality.

 

 

ElenaElena Konopelko
Researcher

Elena holds an MA in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University and is currently a researcher at NuRPI working on labour-related projects. Her research interests are in public policy, development, and labour markets.

 

 

TuloTulo Makwati
Research Assistant, CSID, University of the Witwatersrand

Tulo is a junior researcher at CSID working on the role of minimum wages in economic development. His other research interests include economics of education, unemployment, poverty studies, regional integration, trade and industrilisation. Tulo holds an Honours degree in Development Theory and Policy from the University of the Witswatersrand and a Bachelor of Social Science in Economics from Africa University (Zimbabwe).

 

 

JanaJana Mudronova
Researcher, CSID, PhD Candidate, University of the Witwatersrand

Jana is a researcher pursuing a doctorate degree in Development Studies studying Chinese investment in the South African mining sector. She holds a MA in Political Economy from the Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, in The Hague. Jana also held various positions in non-governmental organisations centring around public relations and research. Her research interest include Sino-African relations, investment policies and inclusive growth.

 

 

brian-murahwaBrian Murahwa
Researcher, CSID, University of the Witwatersrand and MA Candidate, Global Labour University

Brian is a researcher at CSID University of Witwatersrand, working on the National Minimum Wage Research Initiative. He holds a BSc in Sociology from Great Zimbabwe University, Honours in Industrial Sociology from the University of Pretoria and is currently a MA candidate with the Global Labour University (Witwatersrand). Brian has a background of trade unionism and research interests in labour migration, decent work, labour markets and the service sector.

 

 

bandileBandile Ngidi
Researcher, CSID, University of the Witwatersrand

Bandile is a researcher in the National Minimum Wage Research Initiative. He is also a director of the youth-led research and advocacy NGO, Rethink Africa. He is an MCom candidate in Development Theory and Policy from University of the Witwatersrand. He also has a BA (Honours) in Philosophy and a BCom PPE from the University of the Witwatersrand. Bandile has a background in social dialogue with research interests and experience in entrepreneurship, minimum wages, inflation, entrepreneurship and philosophy of science, philosophy of race, moral and political philosophy.

 

sipula-miphefoMaphefo Sipula
Researcher, CSID, University of the Witwatersrand

Maphefo Sipula is a junior researcher at CSID working on the role of wages, and minimum wages, in economic development with as specific focus on employment. Her other research interests include regional integration, industrialisation and trade. She holds an MSc in Industry, Trade and Development from the University of Manchester (Cum Laude), an Honours in Development Theory and Policy and a BCom in Economics and Applied Economics from University of Witwatersrand.

Reference Teams

Before a paper is published it is submitted to a panel of local and international experts for comment, suggestions and edits. These are some of the experts assisting with various topics.

Employment, Wages and Minimum Wages: Theory and Evidence

Prof Ben Fine – Professor of Economics at SOAS, University of London
Prof Hansjörg Herr – Professor of Economics, Berlin School of Economics and Law
Prof Robert Pollin – Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Dr Chris Torr – University of the Witwatersrand

Minimum Wages and Inequality

Uma Rani – Senior Development Economist, International Labour Organisation

Statistics and Statistical Modeling

Dr Jeronim Capaldo –Research Fellow, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University.
Dr James Heinz – Research Professor. Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Gilad Isaacs – CSID, University of Witwatersrand

Poverty and a National Minimum Wage

Joshua Budlender – Research Associate, Socio-Economic Rights Institute
Isobel Fyre –Director, Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute
Dr Michael Rogan – Senior Researcher in the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit, Rhodes University
Dr Ben Scully – University of the Witwatersrand
Dr Gemma Wright –Research Director, Southern African Social Policy Research Institute, University of Oxford

Policy

Dr Patrick Belser – Senior Economist, International Labour Organisation
Dr Shane Godfrey – Senior Researcher, Labour and Enterprise Policy Research Group, University of Cape Town
Dr Debbie Collier – Associate Professor, Department of Commercial Law, University of Cape Town
Gilad Isaacs – Coordinator, National Minimum Wage Research Initiative, CSID, SEBS, University of Witwatersrand
Kristen Sobeck – Economist, International Labour Organisation
Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez – Econometrician and Wage Specialist, International Labour Organisation

Gilad Isaacs
PhD Economics

Adam Aboobaker
Researcher - University of the Witwatersrand

© 2015 National Minimum Wage – All Rights Reserved