Professor Ben Turok – Director and Editor, New Agenda
Professor Ben Turok was a Member of Parliament in South Africa representing the ruling African National Congress. In the 1994 democratic government, he was first Head of the Commission on the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) in the Gauteng Provincial Cabinet and then moved to Parliament in 1995. He was the Co-Chair of the Committee on Ethics and Member’s Interests of both Houses in Parliament. Prof Turok was one of the accused at the 1956 Treason Trial, served 3 years in prison and was in exile for 25 years, returning to South Africa in 1990.
Prof. Ben Turok has three degrees in engineering, philosophy and political science. He is the author of 20 books on African development economics and politics. Prof Turok was a lecturer at the Open University in London and has taught at many universities across Africa. He has worked closely with the United Nations and the European Parliamentary Assembly.
Michael Nassen Smith – Deputy Director
Michael completed his Masters degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Cape Town in 2016. He is currently a PhD candidate in economics at the University of Johannesburg. He has worked at IFAA since 2015. His research interests and expertise span political thought, heterodox economics and political economy.
Shamielah Booley – Office Administrator
Shamielah has a diploma in foundation phase teaching from Athlone training college as well as a diploma in Business administration from Maurice Secretarial School. She has held numerous positions including at Media24, Constitutional assembly and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Shamielah has worked at IFAA since 2014.
Zunaid Moolla – Deputy Editor, New Agenda
Zunaid is an economist who specialises in economic literacy and research on alternative economics. He also works as a facilitator with Training for Transformation, an organisation that runs training programs for community workers and social activists a few times a year. Among the previous positions he held was that of Executive Director of the National Institute for Economic Policy and Manager of its Service Program where he trained the first Members of Parliament of South Africa after its transition to democracy in 1994; Executive Director of Bayette Development Consultants, an economic consulting company he helped found in the late 1990’s. He also worked for provincial and national government departments in Canada. He served on the Board of SANE (South African New Economics) for two years. Zunaid holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and a Master’s degree in Political Economy from the New School for Social Research in New York.
Rekang Jankie – Head of Student Department
Rekang Jankie heads up the Student and Youth department at the Institute for African Alternatives. He is formerly a student at the University of Stellenbosch. As a self-described Democratic Socialist, his research interest is in broader socialist thought with a particular focus on the need for liberty in socialist societies.
Carilee Osborne – Researcher
Carilee studied philosophy, politics and economics during her undergraduate and earned an MPhil in Justice and Transformation from the University of Cape Town. Her thesis traced the discourse of “speaking for the oppressed” in South Africa in order to better understand debates on the role of intellectuals in post-apartheid social movements. Her research interests include South African politics, intellectual history, policy theory and political economy.
Moira Levy – Production Manager, New Agenda
Moira has worked in media for almost 40 years, with experience in journalism, publishing and public relations. She has been a reporter and an editor on a number of newspapers, including the Mail & Guardian and South (both of which she helped set up), The Star, City Press, Sunday Express, etc, as well as The Guardian and The Financial Times in London. She was head of the media department of the Institute of Democracy in South Africa (Idasa), and was simultaneously manager of its publications department, responsible for producing its diverse publications. For more than five years she was the manager of the Publications and Production department at Parliament’s Communication Services. She resigned recently to start an independent digital newsletter focusing on the news about Parliament that does not reach the public domain.
Mr Awande Buthelezi – Intern
Awande Buthelezi is a member of the Student and Youth department at IFAA. He holds a BSocSci in International Relations, Politics and Industrial Sociology, from the University of Cape Town. His research interests include the history of ideas, political thought, international relations and political economy.