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Alan Fine

He developed a human rights framework at AGA, managed the company’s sustainability reporting for several years; participated in the work of business organisations with which AGA is associated; and carried out media relations work for the company. During Fine’s 18-year journalism career, he wrote about labour, politics and public policy. He worked as a trade unionist from 1978-1984 for the then Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union of SA.
Alan Fine is a consultant at Russell & Associates, providing services mainly to the mining industry in the fields of public policy and communications. Prior to this he was public affairs manager at AngloGold Ashanti for 11 years. His responsibilities included public policy matters in SA and other countries where the company operates.

Isobel Frye (ex officio)

Isobel Frye was appointed as the founding Director of Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute in 2006. She has overseen the development and growth of SPII from its infancy till date. Isobel’s research focus is on poverty, socio-economic rights and social protection. She is a member of the CASAC Advisory Council, the Board of the Open Democracy Advice Centre and ASSAF. She is the Deputy Chair of the Board of the Southern African Social Policy Experts Network and she is a representative of the Financial Sector Campaigns Coalition in the NEDLAC Community Constituency. She has a BA LLb and a higher Diploma in Tax Law from the University of Cape Town. Previously, Isobel worked as a senior researcher in poverty eradication and socio-economic rights at National Agency of Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI) and also as the National Advocacy Manager at the Black Sash. Prior to that, Isobel practised as an attorney in commercial law.

Isobel is a regular analyst and commentator in all forms of media on issues pertaining to poverty, inequality and socio-economic rights. She has published in a variety of journals. Isobel was the chief negotiator for Community Constituency in the recent three year NEDLAC negotiations on the National Minimum Wage under the auspices of then Deputy President Ramaphosa, and she is currently heading Community Constituency’s negotiating team ion Comprehensive Social Security.

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Langa Zita

Langa Zita is a former parliamentarian in the National Assembly and a former Central Committee member of the South African Communist Party.

He was Chairperson of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Portfolio Committee before his appointment as a convener of the Economic Cluster Committee of the African National Congress (ANC) in Parliament. An independent and brilliant thinker, Zita brings depth and understanding to the trust on issues of poverty and social polarity.

He is a former Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. He is also the convenor of the South African chapter of the Third World Forum and a member of the World Forum for Alternatives. He is currently the Secretary for Political Education and Training at African National Congress (ANC) Gauteng Province.

Sisa Njikelana

Sisa Njikelana is currently the Chairperson and Acting Secretary General of the South African Independent Power Producers Association, a role he assumed after he served as a Member of South African Parliament between 2004 and 2014.

While on the National Assembly, Njikelana served of the following Portfolio Committees: Energy (Chairperson); Rules Committee; Trade & Industry; Health; Parliamentary Group on International Relations. From 1995 to 1998, he was a Councillor for the City of Joburg Eastern Metro Council.

Njikelana is also an associate at the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) and Ethicore Political Consulting. He is an entrepreneur whose qualifications include an Applied Social Studies Diploma from Ruskin College, Oxford UK, and a Leadership in Communications Certificate from Rhodes University.


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Thina Hlophe

Thina has extensive experience and exposure in fundraising, marketing, communication and stakeholder relations management. Thina has been an appointed trustee at the Studies of Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) since February 2020.

Her academic and professional training include a Masters in Philosophy in Business Management: Responsible Leadership from the University of Pretoria (UP), BCom Honours in Business Management from the University of South Africa (UNISA) and Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in Management and Communications from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN).

Her skills and competencies include:

  • fundraising – development and operational strategy.
  • Strategy – formulation and implementation;
  • Leadership – implementation and coaching;
  • Stakeholder Relations – stakeholder management and engagement.

Phelisa Nkomo

Ms Nkomo is a development economist by profession, a social justice activist with her experience rooted from community activism and national and global economic justice organisation dating back from the Global debt cancellation movement and Global Coalition on Poverty in early 2000’s. She serves in South Africa Women in Dialogue development commission, a non-partisan and multi-class women’s movement entrenched in grass-root organisations, Black Township in South Africa. Ms Nkomo is also part of Stellenbosch University Development Economic research team which recently published an Alternative Economic Policy for South Africa called New wine on New skin under the leadership of Prof Thuli Madonsela. She serves in the Board of Independent Development Trust (IDT) and a founder of Abantu for Social Justice organisations.

Ms Nkomo has a diverse working experience which ranges from gender advocacy organisations (Women’s College and African Gender Institute), Trade Union Movement (SA Municipal Workers Union), legislation development institutions (Parliament of South Africa), grant-making institutions (Open Society Foundation & Development Agency) , social protection and labour market activation advocacy (Black Sash) and Public Policy Advisor (Economic Advisor for 8years).

Her research interest arrays from development economics, gender, empowerment, social policy & economy, public finance, international economics/ trade policy, tax incentives, rural development, food security, aid effectiveness and labour economics. She has previously served in several Boards and acquired depth of knowledge in area like Pragmatic Leadership principles, Corporate Governance principles, Strategy Development, Risk Management and lateral thinking.

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