Francis Wilson

Professor Francis Wilson taught for over thirty years in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town where he founded & for many years directed SALDRU. In 2001 he was also Director of the Data First Resource Unit (For Information Research and Scientific Training).

He authored a number of books, chapters, and articles including Labour in the South African Gold Mines (Cambridge, 1972) and, with Mamphela Ramphele, Uprooting Poverty: The South African Challenge (Cape Town &New York, 1989).

He was Chairperson of Council at the University of Fort Hare from 1990-1999 and also first Chairperson, 1996-1999, of the National Water Advisory Council. During part of 2000, 2001 and 2002 he was Visiting Professor in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University. In 2001 he became Chairperson of the International Social Science Council’s Scientific Committee of CROP, the international Comparative Research Program on Poverty.


Francis Wilson – A collection of tributes to the life and work of the founder of SALDRU

Francis Wilson passed away on 24 April 2022. At the end of that month, the SALDRU newsletter included a short tribute to Francis. We noted too that current SALDRUpians wanted to respond collectively by writing personal tributes for inclusion in a SALDRU compilation. In the newsletter we invited all who wanted to join with us in this response to submit a tribute for inclusion in this volume. The tributes were collated and a short book of them, interspersed with photographs and images, was compiled. This book is available here.

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