The bare minimum: pay disparities run deep at SA Universities

By Mehita Iqani , Nosipho Mngomezulu

Most universities are at the forefront of denouncing social injustices and inequality yet, in 2013 for instance the highest paid chancellor earned an annual salary of R3.2 million. These figures reflect shockingly high salary discrepancies between high earners in these institutions and low earners.

Prof Mehita Iqani tackles this bone of contention amongst many in academia with Prof Rasigan Maharaj, the founding Chief Director of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) in the Faculty of Economics and Finance at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). Maharaj says it is not enough to discuss minimum wage, there should be discussions on what the maximum wage should be in South African Institutions of Higher Education. Together they explore equality, accountability, pay scales and socially engaged scholarship.

The Academic Citizen (TAC) is an independent podcast series that is supported by the Academic Staff Association of Wits University (ASAWU). Established in April 2016, The Academic Citizen explores a diversity of topics and opinions relating to higher education in South Africa, today and into the future. Each episode welcomes a guest for an in-depth discussion of a particular issue relevant to university life today, including transformation in higher education, gender equity and virtual learning to name a few. Researched, edited, scheduled and produced by Simbarashe Honde.

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The Academic Citizen is funded by The Academic Staff Association of Wits University.


Mehita Iqani

Mehita Iqani is Associate Professor in Media Studies at Wits. Her research explores the links between consumer culture and the media in the global south. She is a co-host of The Academic Citizen podcast.

Nosipho Mngomezulu

Nosipho holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University Currently Known as Rhodes University. Nosipho has taught “Community Engaged Learning” at the University Currently known as Rhodes University; “Communication for Social Change” at MICA (India); “Introduction to Critical Race Theory” at the Stanford Bing Overseas Studies Program in Cape Town and Social Anthropology at the University of […]


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