President Cyril Ramaphosa's new Presidential Economic Advisory Council gets to work

The council will facilitate the development and implementation of economic policies that spur inclusive growth.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the appointment of the new Presidential Economic Advisory Council members in the State of the Nation Address on 20 June 2019. The appointment came into effect on 1 October. 

According to the President, the council “will 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”. 

The council will advise the President and government more broadly, facilitating the development and implementation of economic policies that spur inclusive growth. It will serve as a forum for in-depth and structured discussion on emerging global and domestic developments, economic and development policies, and to facilitate socialisation and diligent execution of these policies.

“The council will also be instrumental in building a knowledge base of policy and implementation lessons, best practices and field-tested success stories,” the President said. 

The members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council are:

  • Prof Benno Ndulu, best known for his involvement in setting up and developing the African Economic Research Consortium.
  • Prof Mzukisi Qobo, professor of International Business, who has written extensively on trade and political economy. 
  • Prof Dani Rodrik, world-renowned economist and professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
  • Prof Mariana Mazzucato, 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, First National Bank chief economist.
  • Dr Renosi Mokate, former executive at the University of South Africa Graduate School of Business Leadership, former deputy governor of the South African Reserve Bank, former independent consultant for the Ministry of Finance and National Treasury and former World Bank Group executive director.
  • Dr Kenneth Creamer is an academic economist and an NRF-rated researcher with a range of publications on fiscal policy, monetary policy, open economy macroeconomics, competition policy and labour market policy. 
  • Prof Alan Hirsch, director of the Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice, University of Cape Town. He is an academic and former chief economist at the Presidency where he managed economic policy.
  • Prof Tania Ajam is a public policy analyst and an economist with broad experience in the design, analysis and implementation of fiscal policy, intergovernmental fiscal relations and government-wide monitoring and evaluation systems.
  • Dr Grové Steyn is one of South Africa’s leading infrastructure and regulatory economists.
  • Wandile Sihlobo is an agricultural economist and head of Agribusiness Research at the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa.
  • Dr Liberty Mncube, former chief economist at the Competition Commission and current scholar at Wits University.
  • Prof Fiona Tregenna is a professor in the Department of Economics and Econometrics at the University of Johannesburg. She is an expert in industrial organisation and policy. Her primary area of research is on structural change, with a particular focus on de-industrialisation. 
  • Prof Haroon Bhorat, professor of Economics and director of the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. His area of research has concentrated on labour economics and poverty/income distribution mainly in South Africa, and has recently been expanded to other parts of Africa - in which he is a world-renowned authority.
  • Ayabonga Cawe is a development economist actively engages as a public intellectual. He is managing director of a platform involved in advisory, facilitation and content development across a wide range of fields.
  • Prof Vusi Gumede is widely published and undertakes research for many institutions in Africa. He previously worked in different capacities in government for more than a decade. 
  • Dr Thabi Leoka is 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. She was appointed by the Minister of Finance to review the zero-rated products in order to support the poor and vulnerable in the country.
  • Prof Imraan Valodia is an economist and the dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the University of Witwatersrand. His research interests include inequality, gender, competition policy, and industrial development, and employment in developing countries

The Presidency also stated that it is also 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. 

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 that meets the needs of citizens and is globally competitive at the same time.