The Rethinking Economics programme supports students, academics, and members of labour and civil society to challenge the status quo in economics thinking. The IEJ leads the flagship Rethinking Economics for Africa Festival each year. The programme supports Rethinking Economics for Africa student formations across the country, who are working to promote economic pluralism in the university curriculum. The programme also conducts economic literacy workshops to equip members of labour and civil society with the tools and techniques needed to engage with economic policy.
The offices of the IEJ at 62 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, also host a Social Justice Hub. The Hub is a space for academics and civil society organisations for interacting, mentoring, building networks, hosting events and conferencing, and for new organisations to establish themselves.
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Andrew Bennie is Senior Researcher in Climate Policy at the IEJ. He has extensive
background in civil society research, organising and activism. He previously worked as a
researcher, organiser and popular educator with township and rural organisations around
grassroots food system and economic alternatives at the Cooperative and Policy Alternative
Centre, and was the national coordinator for the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign.
He subsequently worked as the Research Coordinator at the African Centre for Biodiversity,
undertaking research and advocacy as part of the broader African food sovereignty
movement. Andrew has an MA in Development and Environmental Sociology from the
University of the Witwatersrand, and is about to submit his PhD on the agrarian question,
collective action from below and the South African agro-food system. His research expertise
are in political economy, land and agrarian studies, food systems and climate justice. He is
passionate about using his capacities (including writing and photography) towards collective
struggles for justice and equality.
James is a Senior Researcher: Energy Policy, at the IEJ. His PhD research draws on his ethnography in two underground mines where he worked as a helper and in two mining communities on the Zambian Copperbelt. He dealt with the question – of what it means to have a job and be a worker under the neoliberal dispensation tracking subjectivities through the workers’ everyday lives, considering safety/life and death at work, debt and livelihoods, employment uncertainty, precarious work, family, and gender relations. His Master’s thesis explored how mineworkers living in communities located near the mines experienced mining pollution. James is the winner of the 2021 Terence Ranger Prize of the Journal of Southern Africa for the best article by a first-time author for his article ‘Modernity on Credit: The Experience of Underground Miners on the Zambian Copperbelt’. He holds a PhD in Politics and Social Sciences (Anthropology) from Liege University, Belgium, and a Master’s in Labour Policy and Globalisation from the University of the Witwatersrand. James is a former trade unionist and an advocate against pollution, inequality, injustice, autocracy and abuse of citizens’ rights.
Kamal Ramburuth is the researcher in the IEJ’s Global Economic Governance programme. Kamal has a BComm (Hons) in Applied Development Economics from Wits University. As a student Kamal was a co-founder of the Rethinking Economics for Africa chapter at Wits and a member of the Wits SRC. As an elected member of the inaugural Rethinking Economics (RE) members council, Kamal played a role in bolstering the RE movement internationally. He has previously worked as a consulting researcher at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS) and the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD). As part of his post-graduate training, Kamal studied in Italy and France as part of a two-year double degree in Economic Policies for the Global transition (EPOG), which is an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Economics.
Lutfiyah joined the IEJ in April 2022 as the Climate Policy Researcher in the Climate, Infrastructure and Energy Programme. She holds an interdisciplinary MSc (Environment, Ecology and Conservation) from Wits University. She has guided several years of management, coordination and research work in the development sector with a feminist political ecology lens; most recently as the Transport and Energy advisor for GIZ’s Climate Support Programme. Her current research focus includes the just transition, food systems and decent work.
Yasirah Madhi is a Climate Intern at IEJ. She previously worked on building climate capacity in South Africa at the African Climate and Development Initiative. She holds a Masters in Climate Change and Sustainable Development from the University of Cape Town. Her current work involves providing research support on the Climate Ambition and Accountability Project (CAAP) which aims to increase civil society participation in climate governance.
Jezri is an intern in our Climate, Energy and Infrastructure Program. He is not entirely new to IEJ having previously volunteered with us. Jezri is working towards a Masters degree in Development Economics at Wits University. His research focuses on inequality in household carbon emissions. He has been a student activist, volunteering in leadership roles in the Inala Climate Justice and Food Sovereignty Student Forum, as well as in the Wits chapter of Rethinking Economics for Africa.
Juhi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Sociology from Wits University and an Honour’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Cape Town. Juhi is currently in the second year of her Master’s in Industrial Sociology at UCT. Her current research focus is on social care regimes in the South African context, with a particular focus on state responses to Early Childhood Development and Long-Term Care for older persons during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her other research areas include feminist economics, worlds of work and the care economy.
Amaarah is a Project Associate in the Rethinking Economics Project. She is currently studying towards her Masters in Applied Development Economics at Wits University and has been active in the Wits chapter of Rethinking Economics for Africa (REFA) since 2019. Amaarah is a fellow of the Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute’s Future Leaders Programme and has previously interned at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI).
Zimbali Mncube is a Researcher at the IEJ. He is passionate about social and economic justice. Zimbali has been in the civil society space since 2019, previously at the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) as an Intern and the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute in 2021 before joining the IEJ. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours in International Relations) and a Masters in Development Studies from Wits University. He is currently working on the Budget and Tax Justice project which is in line with his interest in a more developmental and human rights-based macroeconomic policy framework to advance socio-economic rights.
Vuyisiwe Mahafu has joined the Institute for Economic Justice as an intern in the Budget Policy Project
Vuyisiwe has 5 years of experience in the financial sector. She has a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and a BCom Honours in Economics from Rhodes University. She holds a National Certificate in Financial Markets and Instruments from Novia One (Pty) Ltd. Her Masters degree in Economics from the University of the Witwatersrand will be conferred in July 2022. She is an alumni of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Fort Hare Autumn School on Social Democracy and Political Economy which aims to enable South Africa’s next generation of leaders to become active and socially responsible citizens who aspire to promote a better life for everyone.
Brian Kamanzi is the Researcher, Energy Policy Lead at the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ). Brian Kamanzi has worked in the Renewable Energy environment as well as Climate policy collectively for several years. Brian holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town. Brian joined the IEJ in July 2021. Brian’s latest research/ is currently working on labour support research inputs supporting the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan (SAREM) and assisting with the COSATU Just Transition Blueprint document.
Cheryl-Lyn is a Researcher and Special Projects Lead at the IEJ. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Honours in Applied Development Economics, and is completing Masters in Applied Development Economics at Wits University. Her current research focus is on COVID rescue and recovery measures, industrial policy master plans, and localisation of medical manufacturing in Africa. She cofounded Rethinking Economics for Africa at Wits and has interests in policy research, feminist and public economics and governance. Cheryl-Lyn draws on experience in the retail, hospitality and pharmaceutical sectors, and in small and medium enterprise development.
Dr Kelle Howson is a Senior Research Specialist at the Institute for Economic Justice, in the workers’ rights and social security programme with a focus on universal basic income guarantee in South Africa. She is also a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Fairwork project at the Oxford Internet Institute. Kelle’s research background is in uneven economic geography, labour, and digital economy. Kelle’s doctoral research with the University of Wellington, New Zealand, investigated the impact of international ethical certifications on working conditions in the South African wine industry. With Fairwork, she has helped to shed light on, and positively influence, working conditions in the gig economy in South Africa, Kenya, Brazil, and the online cloudwork market. Prior to her current research, Kelle served in New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Leader’s Office as a Senior Researcher.
Dalli Weyers is the Advocacy and Communications Lead at the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ). Dalli has a MA in Political Studies. His role within the IEJ is to develop and implement creative advocacy and communication strategies aimed at amplifying the economic justice work, research and policy proposals of the organisation. Drawing on 15 years of experience in social justice advocacy and campaigning, with organisations as diverse as the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), he will also ensure that the IEJ’s work is accessible to a broad range of partners, stakeholders, policy makers and government officials.
Lindiwe Nkutha is the Finance and Operations Manager at the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ). Lindiwe has worked predominantly in the development sector, amassing in the process more than fifteen years experience. She has worked for amongst others the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa, the Wits Health Consortium, the Aids Law Project as well as the One in Nine Campaign. Lindiwe holds a Bcom degree, as well as an Honours in Gender Studies from the University of Johannesburg. Lindiwe joined the IEJ in August 2021.
Pamela Choga is a Project Assistant at the IEJ. She has been in the civil society space, previously working at SECTION27 as a legal researcher. Here she specialised in education rights, advocacy, and campaigns for vulnerable learners. Pamela holds a LLB degree and Master of Laws in International Economic Law, both from Wits University. She joined the IEJ in February 2019 and has since then been working on the Finance and Human Rights project which brings together stakeholders in discussion on how a human rights framework can help to evaluate the nature and functioning of the financial system and just economy. She also has been involved in the Minimum Wage project, reviewing minimum wages in African countries.
Neil Coleman is a Senior Policy Specialist and one of the Founding Co-Directors of IEJ. He has been an activist, strategist and policy researcher in the South African Mass Democratic Movement, United Democratic Front, Tripartite Alliance and Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) since the late 1970s, and a COSATU official between 1989-2017. He participated in the constitutional negotiations, headed COSATU’s parliamentary office, was special advisor to Department of Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel and Strategies Co-ordinator in the COSATU Secretariat. Neil led Labour’s delegation in the national minimum wage negotiations 2015-2017.
Gilad Isaacs is the Director at the IEJ. He is also an economist at Wits University, where he coordinates the National Minimum Wage Research Initiative, and lectures. Gilad has a Ph.D. and Masters in Economics from SOAS University of London, and a Masters in Political Economy from New York University. He has worked as a consultant for the United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO) and Global Labour University. He has a background in civil society activism working for the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and founding the Social Justice Coalition (SJC). His research expertise are in financialisation, macroeconomics, and labour markets.
Bandile Ngidi is the Rethinking Economics Project Lead. Bandile has previously worked at the National Minimum Wage Research Initiative and Oxfam South Africa. He holds a Masters in Development Theory and Policy from Wits University. He joined the IEJ in August 2018. Bandile is currently working on incubating the Rethinking Economics for Africa movement (working with students, academics and broader civil society). The movement promotes economic pluralism, and alternative economic discourse and economic policy.
Ruth Ntlokotse is the Second Deputy President of Numsa and a Senior Labour Analyst for the multinational organisation Johnson Matthey. Ruth holds a BA Hons in labour policy and globalisation and is currently finalising her Masters degree. Ruth has been a trade union leader for the past 15 years championing women’s economic and social emancipation.
Dzodzi Tsikata is a feminist and academic. She is a Research Professor in development sociology and the Director of the Institute of African Studies (IAS) at the University of Ghana. Her research areas have included gender and development policies and practices; women’s movements and gender equality activism; the politics and livelihood effects of land tenure reforms, large scale land acquisitions and agricultural commercialisation; and informal labour relations and conditions of work. Dzodzi holds a PhD in Social Science and a Master of Arts in Development Studies.
Dzodzi Tsikata is the Deputy Chairperson of the Board at the IEJ.
Zane Dangor currently serves as the Special Adviser to the Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). Before joining DIRCO, he worked as the Chief Operations Officer at Soul City. He has also worked at UNFPA, the National Department of Social Development, civil society and as a consultant in various capacities. Zane holds a Masters in Law (LLM) in International Law and a Masters in Public and Development Management, both from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.
Zane is the founding Chairperson.
Professor Fiona Tregenna holds the DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Industrial Development and is a Professor of Economics at the University of Johannesburg. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of Cambridge, a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, and earlier degrees from the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal). Her primary research focus is on issues of structural change, deindustrialisation and industrial development. She is a part-time Member of the Competition Tribunal, where she adjudicates competition (anti-trust) cases. She has served on several boards, advisory panels and councils, including the Presidential Economic Advisory Council. Fiona is also an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and serves on several bodies.
Lebogang Mulaisi is the Labour Market Policy Coordinator at COSATU, where she coordinates COSATU’s labour market policy implementation. She is an EXCO and MANCO member at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) and represents organised labour in the labour market chamber of NEDLAC. She serves as a steering committee member for the Presidential Health Compact and chairs Pillar One of the Compact: Human Resources for Health. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Degree in Economics and a Master of Commerce Degree in Development Economics.
Dr Pali Lehohla is the former Statistician-General of South Africa, which he held from 2000 up to 2017. He has served as co-chair of PARIS21 and the Chair of the United Nations Statistics Commission. He was the founding chair of the Statistics Commission of Africa (StatCom Africa) and is currently chairperson of the African Symposium for Statistical Development (ASSD). Dr Lehohla has served under various capacities to improve the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics systems in Africa. He consults widely on matters statistics, and since 2017 he became a Research Associate at Oxford University and a consultant to Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. He is the Founder of the Pan African Institute for Evidence (PIE). He is also a member of the Idlulamithi Steering Committee.
Siviwe Mhlana is a researcher at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS) at the University of the Witwatersrand. She completed her MA in Social Policy and Labour Studies at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Rhodes University. Her MA research explored the changing nature of labour-intensive production in post-Apartheid South Africa and the gendered individualisation of risk associated with non-standard, informal and precarious employment. In addition, Siviwe holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Economics Honours from Rhodes University. She has worked as a consultant for the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). She is also associated with the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) at Rhodes University. Her research interests include international development, labour economics, social policy and gender.
Siviwe Mhlana is the Treasurer of the Board at the IEJ.
Pundy Pillay is a Professor of Economics and Public Finance at the Wits School of Governance. Previously, he was a Visiting Professor at the Universities of the Western Cape and Johannesburg. His research interests are economic and social development, economics and public policy, public finance, poverty and inequality, and the economics of education and labour markets. Pundy holds a PhD in Economics and a Master of Arts in Economics.
Pundy Pillay is the Chairperson of the Board at the IEJ.
Lyn Ossome is the Senior Research Specialist and Feminist Economics Lead at the IEJ. Previously, Lyn was a Senior Research Fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University. She received her PhD in Political Studies from Wits University. She specialises in feminist political economy and feminist political theory, with research interests and numerous publications in gendered labour, land and agrarian studies, the modern state and the political economy of gendered violence. She has been a visiting scholar at the National Chiao Tung University, Wits University, and Visiting Presidential Professor at Yale University. Lyn also serves as a Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg and contributes to several boards including the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA Network), the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE), and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA).
Dr Basani Baloyi is the Climate, Energy and Infrastructure Programme Lead at the IEJ. She is a feminist, development economist and activist. She gained her research experience while working on industrial policy issues in academia, at the Centre For Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) and Corporate Strategy and Industrial Development (CSID) Unit. She is the former Inequality Programme Lead at Oxfam South Africa where she infused her research and management experience with movement building and coordination, campaigning and advocating for economic and social justice, in partnership with social movements.
Dr Baloyi is also the former Director of Industrial Policy and Acting Chief Director in the Industrial Procurement Unit at the Department of Trade and Industry. Dr Baloyi holds a PhD in Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, an MA in Public Policy and an MCom in Economics from Wits University. As a former drama student and child actress, Dr Baloyi has a strong fiery passion for the arts, and is in constant pursuit of using that artistic background in her advocacy work for social change.
Directions and parking IEJ office
Sonia Phalatse is a Researcher at the IEJ. She holds a undergraduate degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Cape Town and a Master’s degree in Economics from Wits University. Sonia has previously worked for CIVICUS and the World Bank in her capacity as an economic consultant. Her current research focus is on the role of the developmental state and state-owned enterprises in South Africa, with a particular focus on Eskom. Her other research areas include feminist economics and private financing for development objectives. She is an activist and fierce feminist!
Michelle Van Roy is the Office Manager at the IEJ. Michelle started her career in the procurement arena for an industrial contract caterer, but her artistic flair soon led her to the marketing side of the business where she handled the vendor canteen promotions nationally. She has worked in human resources at international NGOs, including ActionAid and World Vision. In 2012 she took up an operational role at Wits University for the School of Economic and Business Sciences. Michelle holds qualifications in Human Resource Management and Office Management. Michelle joined the IEJ in February 2019.