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Dr Siphelo Ngcwangu

Dr Siphelo Ngcwangu
Department of Sociology
Senior Lecturer

Contact Details
CRing 629
+27 (0)11 559 3706
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus


Siphelo Ngcwangu is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg. His research interests are Industrial Sociology, skills development, political economy , trade unions, labour studies, work restructuring and education. He teaches sociology at the undergraduate level (Globalisation; Sociology of Work;  Race, Class and Gender) and supervises at postgraduate level. He is involved in a collaborative project on Higher Education, Inequality and the Public Good in four African Countries: South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, which is supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF), the  Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Newton Fund. He is also a principal investigator for an NRF –Centres of Excellence (COE) in Human Development project on Youth Development policies and practices in a South African metropolitan municipality. He was previously a researcher at Wits University’s Centre for Researching Education and Labour (REAL) and a co-ordinator as well as a lecturer on the Masters Programme of the REAL centre. He was a recipient of the Ford Foundation Fellowship for his Masters studies at Colorado State University.  


D Litt et Phil in Sociology, University of Johannesburg, 2016
MA in Development Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2009
MA in Sociology, Colorado State University, 2007
BA Hons in Development Studies, University of the Western Cape, 2004
National Diploma in Human Resources Management, PE Technikon, 2000

Research Interests

Industrial and Economic Sociology
Skills Development
Political Economy
Trade Unions
Labour Studies
Work Restructuring

Teaching experience

Gender, class and race 

Academic Citizenship

  • Higher Education, Inequality and the Public Good in four African countries: South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria & Kenya ; Project funded by ESRC, NRF and Newton Fund; institutional partners Wits University, University College London, CODESRIA
  • Pathways to the Public Good: Access, Experiences and Outcomes of South African Undergraduate education, NRF Research Project,
  • Research Fund awarded 2018-2019: NRF Centres of Excellence in Human Development, Project title- Youth Development Policies and Practices in a South African Metropolitan Municipality , institutional partner  Youth Development Institute of South Africa (YDISA)
  • Non –resident fellow, Centre for Fair and Alternative Trade studies (CFATS) , Colorado State University , USA 

Recent Papers and Publications 

Ngcwangu, S. 2017. Reshaping skills policy in South Africa: structures, policies and processes, New Agenda, 4(67): 29-34 

Ncwangu, S & Balwanz, D. 2016. 'Seven problems with the "scarce skills" discourse in South Africa'. South African Journal of Higher Education (SAJHE) 30(2): 31-52.

Allais, S, Marock, C & Ncwangu, S. 2015. 'Planning, Plumbing, or Posturing? Explaining the weakness of human resource development structures and policies in South Africa'. Journal of Education and Work 1-14.

Ncwangu, S. 2015. 'The ideological underpinnings of World Bank TVET policy: Implications of the influence of Human Capital Theory on South African TVET policy. Education as Change 19(3): 24-25.

Ncwangu, S. 2014. 'Higher Education and Training 20 years into democracy: An essay'. In Ngcaweni, B (ed). Liberation diaries: Reflections on 20 years of democracy. Johannesburg: Jacana Press.

Raynolds and Ncwangu, S. 2010. 'Fair Trade Rooibos Tea: Connecting South African producers and American consumer markets'. Geoforum 41: 74-83.