Presidential Economic Advisory Council members appointed

Sunday, September 29, 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council with effect from 1 October 2019.

The Council was announced by President Ramaphosa in the State of the Nation Address to ensure greater coherence and consistency in the implementation of economic policy and ensure that government and society in general is better equipped to respond to changing economic circumstances.

“Comprising local and international economic thought leaders, the Council will advise the President and government more broadly, facilitating the development and implementation of economic policies that spur inclusive growth,” said the Presidency on Friday as it released the 18 names of the members of the council.

The Council is a non-statutory and independent body chaired by the President and brings together prominent economists and technical experts drawn from academia, the private sector, labour, community, think tanks and other constituencies. The members, who will volunteer their time and be compensated for subsistence and travel, are appointed to serve a three-year term. 

The Council constitutes expertise in international economics; macroeconomics (including fiscal policy and monetary economics); labour economics; economics of education and the economics of poverty and inequality and urban development.

It is expected that the Council will serve as a forum for in-depth and structured discussions on emerging global and domestic developments, economic and development policies, and to facilitate socialisation and diligent execution thereof.

It will be supported by a Secretariat drawn from National Treasury and Policy and Research Services in the Presidency that will, inter alia, feed enhanced economic research into deliberations of the Council. The Council is further expected to establish clear protocols for engaging with other critical structures such as the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC).

The Council will meet quarterly at first and will in due course decide on timelines that will best enable deliberations among Council members and the Council’s interface with the President.

This operating model is intended to enhance the work being undertaken to build a capable state, as demanded by the National Development Plan (NDP). The Council will also be instrumental in building a knowledge base of policy and implementation lessons, best practices and field-tested success stories.

Members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council are:

  • Professor Benno Ndulu who served as the Governor of the Bank of Tanzania from 2008 until 2018.
  • Professor Mzukisi Qobo who is a Professor of International Business, who has written extensively on trade and political economy.
  • Professor Dani Rodrik who is a Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
  • Professor Mariana Mazzucato who is a Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, and Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at the University College London.
  • Mamello Matikinca-Ngwenya who is First National Bank’s chief economist.
  • Dr Renosi Mokate, a Former Executive and Dean, University of South Africa Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL), and former Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank.
  • Dr Kenneth Creamer who is a Professor of Macroeconomics at Wits University where he has worked for 18 years.
  • Professor Alan Hirsch who is a Director of the Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice, University of Cape Town.
  • Professor Tania Ajam who teaches public financial management at the University Of Stellenbosch School Of Public Leadership.
  • Dr Grové Steyn who is one of South Africa’s leading infrastructure and regulatory economists.
  • Wandile Sihlobo, an agricultural economist and Head of Agribusiness Research at the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa.
  • Dr Liberty Mncube, a former chief economist at the Competition Commission and current scholar at Wits University.
  • Professor Fiona Tregenna, a Professor in the Department of Economics and Econometrics at the University of Johannesburg.
  • Professor Haroon Bhorat, a Professor of Economics and Director of the Development Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town. Professor Bhorat’s area of research has concentrated on labour economics and poverty/income distribution mainly in South Africa.
  •  Ayabonga Cawe who is a development economist actively engaged as a public intellectual.
  • Professor Vusi Gumede: Former chief policy analyst in the Presidency’s Policy Coordination and Advisory Service, and founding director of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute at the University of South Africa.
  • Dr Thabi Leoka: an economist who has worked for various organisations in the financial sector and was recently appointed by President Ramaphosa to the Public Investment Corporation Commission of Inquiry.
  • Professor Imraan Valodia: Economist and Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the University of Witwatersrand.

Meanwhile, the Presidency is in the process of finalising the appointment of a seasoned economist and leader from West Africa who has accepted an invitation for her to serve as a member of the Council.

In addition, President Ramaphosa thanked the Council members for accepting the invitation to serve South Africa’s development in their capacity as members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council and assured them that their insights, critiques and recommendations will ultimately serve to build a sustainable and inclusive economy. -