Yesterday we heard the wonderful news that three colleagues in the School of Economics have been promoted!
Mrs. Anmar Pretorius is soon to be Dr. Pretorius and has been promoted to senior lecturer. Henri Bezuidenhout and Chris van Heerden are now associate Professors.
All this is the result of a lot of hard work. Students typically see the lecturer in class, but behind the scenes they are also supervising post-grads, acting as examiners and moderators, reviewing papers for academic journals, doing their own research, presenting conference papers and trying to publish articles while doing committee work, commercializing expertise and reaching out to their communities.
Congratulations to all.
The MTBPS may be called a ‘mini- budget’ but it carried a major message: SA is in a low growth trap and until this changes, the government will have ‘to cut its coat according to its cloth’. Growth rates of 1.5% are simply too inadequate to sustain the socio-economic demands made upon them, as the widespread protests about university fees again confirm. The NDP interim growth target of 5% by 2019 is now well beyond reach. The MTPBS may have outlined the economic challenges facing SA realistically but message may not have been bold enough to meet them.
Prof Raymond Parsons
Although all roads to a better economic performance, employment and increased tax revenues lead through a much higher growth rates, this will now depend heavily on the actions of other Cabinet Ministers, and not just on the National Treasury. Decisions on issues like the investment bill, visa requirements and land reform undermine the policy coherence which Finance Minister Nene pleaded for in the MTBPS. Minister Nene cannot guarantee the future performance of his Cabinet colleagues, but this coordination in policy remains imperative.
Although on the face of it the MTBPS projects government spending limits and debt ratios which may hold the credit rating agencies at bay for awhile longer, SA’s public finances are not yet out of the woods. The economy as a whole remains fragile given external and internal pressures, which keeps the projections in the MTBPS vulnerable. The dangers of a debt trap or higher taxes still exist. Only a collective commitment to urgently and visibly implement the overall National Development Plan in a coherent and coordinated way will build the necessary confidence to create a bigger, stronger and better economy.
Prof Raymond Parsons of North West University Business School
It is a busy week in the School and yesterday we hosted Dr Johan van den Heever of the SA Reserve Bank.
Johan gave an interesting talk on inflation and hyperinflation. He explained that inflation is a monetary phenomenon – other forces may start a hyperinflation episode, but it is money creation that fuels it. He explained episodes of government-driven hyperinflation, cases where it was caused by giving credit to parastatals and banking-sector driven hyperinflation.
The recent example of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe (and the 50 billion Zim dollar note that he bought along) made the point very clearly.
The academic year is speeding to an end and at this stage you have applied for further study, or you are looking for a job, or maybe both. This post hopes to offer some advice for those of you searching for a job.
To get an idea of what the landscape and the competition looks like we use the 2015 SAGEA Employer Benchmark Survey. You can draw conclusions from this since 93 top graduate employers participated and three fifths of the candidates were commerce students.
So who were these guys?
- 63% held an undergraduate degree and 48% also held an Honours degree. There were some with post-grad diploma’s, national diploma’s and a few with Master’s degrees.
- When in doubt, add another year of education since the pay premium for that Honours degree is 23%.
- It seems that they tried to work on their knowledge and skills while at university: half of them had taken part in a vacation programme or internship, they did part-time or casual work, they volunteered, or were members of a student society or council.
- Some 29% of the candidates had received an academic prize or scholarship during their time at university.
So how did they land these jobs? More…