Record of Updates from Members 


 (August, 2023)

This paper introduces the Migration Governance Reform in Africa research program: MIGRA. This program is supported by the

New South Institute and will consist of a series of papers, op-eds and policy briefs, work in other media, and a collection.


President Ramaphosa assures PEAC on commitment to reforms

 (July, 2023)

President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired a meeting of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) on Thursday 20 July 2023.  

PEAC members commended President Ramaphosa and other African leaders for the steps that have been taken to advocate and work for an end to the destabilising Ukraine-Russia war, maintaining that a return to peace would be in the economic interests of Africa and other parts of the world.

PEAC members further supported President Ramaphosa’s efforts in sending envoys to the United States and other G7 economies to clarify South Africa’s role in working for peace. The meeting recognised that as South Africa seeks to deepen economic ties with BRICS countries, the country must at the same time continue to strengthen bonds with historical trade and investment partners.

The PEAC members welcomed the progress that has been made in implementing the reforms and encouraged the President to continue driving the reform agenda across the electricity, water, rail, ports, telecoms and skills sectors to revive economic growth and create the millions of jobs that are needed.  

It was reiterated that these economic reforms must be undertaken at the same time as the government works towards repairing the country’s weak fiscal position.

The meeting noted government’s ongoing efforts to push back against state-capture, corruption and violence that are damaging society and the country’s economic prospects.

The meeting further highlighted the importance of a comprehensive and well balanced approach in the execution of the Energy Action Plan that will promote significant levels of new investment for the fundamental modernisation and restructuring of the country’s electricity sector.

President Ramaphosa thanked the members of PEAC for their well-considered and crafted inputs and advice to government, providing assurance that government remains on track in the implementation of reforms in a purposeful manner, despite the enormity of the task that means significant results will take time to materialise. 

The PEAC members will continue to provide economic advice to the President in an ongoing manner. 

The purpose of the PEAC is to provide advice to the President on economic policy matters, to allow for detailed discussion on current economic developments, and to allow for the consideration of new economic proposals.

PEAC members, who were appointed on a purely voluntary basis from October 2019 for a three-year term, which has subsequently been extended until the first half of 2024, comprise a team of 19 local and international economic experts drawn from academia, policy and business circles.  The President invites members of his cabinet involved in economic policy matters to join the PEAC meetings.

A major focus of the PEAC work over the past few years has been to advise the President on reforms needed for inclusive, sustainable growth, and PEAC advice also played a significant role in shaping the South African government’s economic response to the Covid pandemic.

Statement Issued by: The Presidency, Pretoria  

Facing the climate crisis in a world of inequality: Who should pay? Who will pay?

 (March, 2023)

Professor Imraan Valodia, Pro Vice-Chancellor: Climate Sustainability and Inequality at Wits University, invites you to a seminar by Professor Adam Tooze

WHEN: Tuesday, 14 March 2023 | TIME: 16:00 – 18:00

WHERE: Senate Chamber, Solomon Mahlangu House, Wits University

Prof. Adam Tooze holds the Shelby Cullom Davis Chair of History at Columbia University in New York and serves as Director of the European Institute. He is a renowned scholar and author of several books, including Crashed, on the financial crisis of 2008, and Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy. In 2019, Foreign Policy Magazine named him one of the top global thinkers of the decade.

He has written and reviewed for the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Sunday Telegraph, the TLS, the London Review of Books, the New Left Review, the New Statesman, the Wall Streer Journal, the New York Times, the New York Review of books, Dissent, Die Zeit, Spiegel, TAZ and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Professor Tooze sees climate change as the next big threat to global stability and believes that “It is not the development aspirations of the global poor that are driving the climate crisis, but the relentless increase in the already excessive consumption of the more affluent half of the world's population and particularly that of the top 10 and top 1 percent.”

Please contact Julia Taylor for any queries: 

Ayabonga Cawe Appointed as New ITAC Chief Commissioner

 (January, 2023)

PEAC congratulates Mr Ayabonga Cawe  on his appointment  as the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa's (ITAC) new Chief Commissioner. Ayabonga has been appointed in this strategic role for a term of 5 years, starting from 01 January 2023 to 31 December 2027.

ITAC is a schedule 3A Public Entity established in terms of the International Trade Administration Act, No 71 of 2002, and came into force on 1 June 2003. ITAC replaced its predecessor, the Board of Tariffs and Trade (BTT) that was established in 1986. The predecessor of the BTT is the Board on Trade and Industries (BTI) that dated back to 1924.

The aim of ITAC, as stated in the Act, is to foster economic growth and development in order to raise incomes and promote investment and employment in South Africa and within the Common Customs Union Area by establishing an efficient and effective system for the administration of international trade subject to this Act and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Agreement. The core functions are: customs tariff investigations; trade remedies; and import and export control.

Professor Vusi Gumede's paper examines the relationship between government and socio-economic development in South Africa. The analysis focuses on 1996-2020. Various estimations were undertaken, through the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) model, to empirically examine the role of government in socio-economic development in South Africa. Because of the unit root that typically characterizes macroeconomic series, the unit root test using the Augmented Dick Fuller (ADF) test with constant, and trend was done. In addition, the ARDL bound tests were undertaken. 

The results confirm that government has  an  important role to play  in the economy. However, results show that economic growth does not necessarily  translate to socio-economic development although government spending does.  In  addition,  results  also  confirm  that  institutions  and  educational  spending  are  important  for  social  and economic development. For instance, improvements in the quality of institutions increases the human development index. In the same vein, there is a strong positive correlation between increased socio-economic development and spending on education. Results show that the quality of institutions is important for both economic growth and socio-economic  development.  

Overall,  the  findings  support  the  view  that  governments  should  be  active  in facilitating social and economic development. This is more so in instances where economic performance weakens due to exogenous factors such as the coronavirus pandemic. It is worth highlighting that the baseline ARDL results show that the correlation between gross domestic product (GDP)  and its prior values  is statistically significant, indicating a meaningful relationship between GDP and socio-economic development.

Green Industrialisation in Africa (November, 2022)

The DSI/NRF South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Industrial Development and the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development at the University of Johannesburg are delighted to host three leading experts, Prof Carlos Lopes, Dr Tilman Altenburg and Dr Basani Baloyi for a public lecture on the topic:

Green Industrialisation in Africa

SPEAKERS: Prof Carlos Lopes is Professor at Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, UCT. Dr Tilman Altenburg is Head of Department of ‘Sustainable Economic and Social Development’ at the German Development Institute. Dr Basani Baloyi is Climate, Energy and Infrastructure Programme Lead at the Institute for Economic Justice.

MODERATORS: Dr Phumzile Ncube and Prof Fiona Tregenna

DATE AND TIME: 14 November 2022, 16:00 (South African Time)

VENUE: Radisson Blu Sandton, Corner Daisy Street and Rivonia Road

COP27 Panel Discussion (November, 2022)

Panel discussion moderated by Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London and founding director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Keynote remarks from Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister, Barbados

Responses from:

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, Scotland

Hala El Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Government of Egypt

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General,WTO

 For further information on the speakers, please vist the following link: 

District Development Model Webinar (November, 2022)

Ayaybonga Cawe  will be a speaker a webinar hosted by the Pathways Institute, Equality Collective and the Zabalaza Socialist Forum on Tuesday, 8 November.

The webinar seeks to unpack the question: Will the District Development Model (DDM) address the municipal crisis? 

Date: 8 November

Time: 16:00 - 17:30 

Teams Registration Link:,IpqB5hx9HUuRnZCkivuXRw,vtAZ_wxMyU6by8fJByGDEA,ju25mJFSH0SMqswM3mwjwA,ilICpajC6U-vaSBn7wrBWQ,TOucoiX-qE2nqxAzlVhg_w?mode=read&tenantId=dbafee6f-9c39-48e6-a1c6-b15e6f966494 

South Africa: State and Development (November, 2022)

Professor Vusi Gumede's new book deals with the institutional architecture and development outcomes in South Africa. It examines the various reforms pursued since 1994 and analyses organisation and capacity of the government as well as assesses socio-economic development, guided by the developmental state framework in a comparative context. 

Please follow link to purchase: 

Thandika Mkandawire Memorial Lecture (October, 2022)

Prof. Fiona Tregenna delivered the memorial lecture at the 2022 Thandika Mkandawire Memorial Lecture and Panel Discussions. 

Please follow link to watch the video: 

100 Years of Economics at Wits (September, 2022)

The Wits School of Economics and Finance hosted a centenary celebration webinar and panel discussion on economic policy-making in a high inequality context.

Among the panelists were Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Ms Trudi Makhaya, Dr. Kenneth Creamer and Prof Liberty Mncube with a keynote address by Prof Thomas Piketty.

Please follow link to watch the video: 

Ayabonga Cawe Awarded the Prof. Thandika Mkandawire Prize (August, 2022)

Huge congratulations to Ayabonga Cawe for being awarded the Prof. Thandika Mkandawire Prize for Outstanding Young Scholars in African Political Economy and Economic Development for a WIDER Working Paper, what a great achievement! 👏

Read the paper here: 

The prize winners' presentation will take place on Tuesday, 13 September at 18h30 (SAST) 

Physical Venue: The Blades Hotel, Kameeldrift, Roodeplaat, Pretoria

Hybrid event: Zoom link Register Here 

CDE Conversations with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (July, 2022)

 Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala shares positive insights about the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) during a recent Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) webinar.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala was in conversation with Ann Bernstein, CDE’s executive director. The conversation focused on Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s role as a global reformer: fighting corruption and promoting world trade.

Prior to her appointment as Director General of the World Trade Organization Dr Okonjo-Iweala served as an active member of the Advisory Council. She described PEAC as a team of  "bright young economists, not afraid to challenge the system and write analysis for the President even when it might not be palatable." 

Follow the link for the full interview: 

Existential Priorities for the AfCFTA (June, 2022)

 In June 2021, spirited practitioners and thought leaders from Africa and beyond came together to develop as book on existential priorities for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

This book aims to guide and assist implementation of the AfCFTA over the next 10 years. Each chapter considers a key area, raises issues for attention and points to possible ways forward. 

Professor Alan Hirsch authored Chapter 9 on the free movement of people considers a flagship programme under Agenda 2063 that complements the AfCFTA to form a continuum for the African Common Market with free movement of goods, services, people and investment, as well as the right of residence and establishment. 

Follow the link to access the book: 

Better Choices: Ensuring South Africa's Future (May, 2022)

 This collection by South Africa’s top thinkers on the political economy, provides an unflinching account of the myriad challenges the country faces, and examines the solutions that will lead South Africa to a positive and inclusive future. The volume is co-edited by Haroon Bhorat, with Greg Mills and Ray Hartley from the Brenthurst Foundation, and Mcebisi Jonas, former Deputy Finance Minister.

Prof. Bhorat’s chapter considers policy choices for the labour market in South Africa – possibly the key mechanism for creating jobs and serving as a catalyst for reducing both poverty and inequality. Co-authors include: Prof. Alan Hirsch looking at the role of SOEs in development; Prof. Liberty Mncube discussing competition policy and excessive market power; Mr Wandile Sihlobo examining policy reforms to stimulate growth and employment in agriculture; and Prof. Imraan Valodia offering an analysis of the limitations and opportunities of the informal economy in South Africa. 

Follow the link to read more: