Last week Prof Marianne Matthee and Mrs Carli Bezuidenhout (along with Prof Neil Rankin of Stellenbosch University) presented their latest research on South African exporters in Pretoria. Their research forms part of a three-year UNU-WIDER and National Treasury project. The theme of the conference was “Growth and development policy: New data, new approaches, new evidence”. The research used SARS administrative data to examine different topics from the characteristics of exporters and two-way traders, through to productivity, innovation, markups and concentration, the employment tax incentive and determinants of wages.
Marianne and Carli’s work with Neil focused specifically on trade and productivity, as well as exporting and labour demand.
Yesterday the NWU announced the senior academic promotions for 2016 and the School is proud to have three new Associate Professors in our midst. Congratulations to Proff. Flippie Cloete, Ermie Steenkamp and Sonja Grater. Achievement at this level is the result of years of hard work and dedication. Cheers to bright academic careers ahead!
Dr Flippie Cloete of the School’s Agricultural Economics programme has received the Agriculture Writers SA’s award as the agriculturalist of the year, North West.The award acknowledges the contribution that he makes to the agricultural industry.
Flippie is well-know in game farming circles. He frequently does presentations to farmers and writes in the popular media about the game industry. At the recent Aardklop festival he was also a discussant on RSG.
This week Dr Sonja Grater hosted Dr Mikey Chasomeris of UKZN for a guest lecture and research exchange. There has been discussions with colleagues and lunch with the TRADE team. Yesterday Mickey presented some of his research at the ECON625 class.
The topic of the presentation was South African port governance and pricing – the dilemmas and suggested reforms. Mickey showed interesting facts about the eight main ports governed by the Transnet National Ports Authority. Governance dilemmas arise from the approach of cooperation, and not competition, between ports. For example, there is one tariff book for port pricing, though costs differ. Often there is misalignment between Transnet National Port Authority’s plans and priorities and local industrial development zones. Mickey also discussed the interactions between the TNPA and the ports regulator with interesting simulations of the revenue requirement formula and the pricing increases allowed.