Professor Imraan Valodia, an Economist, is Pro Vice-Chancellor: Climate, Sustainability and Inequality and Director Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg (Wits).
His research interests include: climate change, inequality, gender, competition policy and industrial development, and employment in developing countries.
Professor Valodia has played a central role in establishing and leading Wits University’s Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS). The SCIS is a a multi-disciplinary, cross-country initiative to promote research and policy change to promote greater equality in the Global South. The SCIS is currently involved in research under the following themes: measuring and conceptualising inequality; economic structure and inequality; land, class and the rural economies; spatial inequality; work, households and labour markets; and developing alternatives for a more equitable distribution of power, wealth and income. Professor Valodia is specifically involved in research in the areas of wealth inequality, inequality and the future of work, the gender-pay gap, and fiscal policy and inequality.
Professor Valodia has led and participated in a number of large national and international studies. In the recent period, he led an international study, in 10 cities across the globe, of the informal economy using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. In the period 2008-2011 he co-led a pathbreaking three-year research project, conducted in 8 countries, on the gender impacts of direct and indirect taxation. This research was recently published by Routledge as an edited book. He has published extensively in leading academic journals and in the popular press on issues related to his research interests. He is recognised nationally and internationally for his research in economic development.
Professor Valodia is a part-time member of the Competition Tribunal in South Africa. He is also a Commissioner of National Minimum Wage Commission and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf) Standing Committee on Science for the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality. Professor Valodia has worked with a number of international institutions including the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and UN Women. He is a member of the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).
In August 2016 Professor Valodia was appointed by (then) Deputy President Cyril Rampaphosa to chair the Advisory Panel on the National Minimum Wage. This led to the introduction of a National Minimum Wage in South Africa. In early 2018, he was appointed to a Panel to advise the Minister of Economic Development on amendments to the Competition Act. More recently, he was appointed by the Minister of Finance to a Panel of Experts to advise the Minister on Value-Added Taxes. In late 2019, Professor Valodia was appointed by President Ramaphosa to the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) in South Africa.