Professor Alan Hirsch to serve in the Presidential Economic Advisory Council

27 Sep 2019 - 18:30

The University of Cape Town’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Alan Hirsch into the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC). The establishment of the PEAC was announced during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address of February 2018. The unit, will aim to generate new ideas for economic growth, job creation and addressing poverty.

On the establishment of this unit, President Ramaphosa said: “It will draw on the expertise and capabilities that reside in labour, business, civil society and academia.”

UCT’s Professor Hirsch, who was also the founding director of the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance from 2011 to 2019 says that he is, “very honoured to be appointed by President Ramaphosa to this important role.”

He hopes that UCT and the Mandela School will, “contribute to the development of policies and support the implementation of good economic policies through research and leadership training capabilities.”

Professor Hirsch is educated in Economics and History at UCT, Wits and Columbia. He taught at UCT, and then joined the South African Department of Trade and Industry in 1995. From 2002 to 2012 he managed economic policy in the South African Presidency, represented the Presidency in the G20, and was co-chair of the G20 Development Working Group.

He serves on several boards including the European Centre for Development Policy Management. He was visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School, a regular visiting professor at Maastricht University, directed the International Growth Centre’s research in Zambia, and was a member of the OECD secretary-general’s Inclusive Growth Advisory Panel.

Professor Hirsch will serve alongside UCT’s Professor Haroon Bhorat, who has also been appointed to serve in the PEAC. Professor Bhorat is the Professor of Economics in the School of Economics and Director of the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU), at UCT. His research interests cover labour economics, poverty and income distribution. He has co-authored and co-edited a number of books on labour market and poverty issues in Africa, including co-editing The Oxford Companion to the Economics of South Africa. He has his PhD in Economics through Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a Cornell University research fellow. He holds the highly prestigious National Research Chair under the theme of Economic Growth, Poverty and Inequality: Exploring the Interactions for South Africa.

The Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) will be expected to engage and provide advice on:

  • The pillars of a macro-economic strategy that should frame economic and industrial policy decisions that government should pursue in the medium to long term, consistent with the electoral mandate of the current administration.
  • Creative ways of building trust between government and social partners in a manner that responds to South Africa's triple challenges of poverty, unemployment an inequality.
  • Global developments that impact on South Africa's growth prospects, and critical steps required to achieve policy coherence and to build confidence across society, social partners and investors.

For enquiries please contact Andile Cele on, or (021) 650 7019. Alternatively, contact Mandela School’s Professor, Alan Hirsch on (021) 650 1420.