About the Covid-19 Economists Group

This website is home to a network of economists who together are supporting efforts to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa.

This is a highly complex and uncertain situation that none of us have before experienced. It will require new thinking that evolves over time.  The idea was to bring together economists who can help think through this complex and uncertain situation and who are already very familiar with policy making, so as to work fast.

The group has a programme of work, and aims to do this in a collaborative way. The work involves making sense of the possible economic impacts, the impact this will have on principles of economic policy making, and concrete recommendations for short, medium and long term policy decisions.

This website will host the product of this group’s work on Covid-19, and will also make available articles that were found to be most useful.

It is hoped that this site will be a useful resource for the many organisations, experts, policy makers, activists, researchers and other stakeholders who are engaged in finding solutions, in South Africa and also globally.


Who we are

The group currently include economists with significant experience in research and in policy making. Most have themselves been at the coalface and in leadership roles in private and public sector decision-making.

Miriam Altman – Group Convenor

Professor of 4IR Practice, School of Economics, University of Johannesburg. Commissioner: National Planning Commission in the South African Presidency. Director of Altman Advisory.  Adjunct Professor, School of Public Governance, University of Cape Town. Former Head of Strategy and Regulatory Affairs, Telkom. Her website is: www.miriamaltman.com

Tania Ajam

Professor of Public Policy, Economics and Finance, School of Public Leadership, University of Stellenbosch; Member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council

Andrew Donaldson

Senior Research Officer, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of CT and former DDG Public Finance, National Treasury

David Francis

Deputy Director at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, University of the Witwatersrand.

Peter Attard Montalto

Director, Intellidex UK and Global, Capital Markets Research, Intellidex.  www.intellidex.co.uk

Mzukisi Qobo

Head of School, Graduate School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand and a member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council. Former Chief Director, Trade Policy, the dti.

Michael Sachs

Adjunct Professor, Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, University of the Witwatersrand. Former DDG, Head of the Budget Office, National Treasury, South Africa

Wandile Sihlobo

Chief economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz) and commissioner at the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC).  Sihlobo is also a member of President Ramaphosa’s Economic Advisory Council. His website is: https://wandilesihlobo.com/

Stuart Theobald

Chairman, Intellidex.  Research Associate, Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London School of Economics. Former editor Business Day Investors Monthly and former News Editor, Financial Mail. www.intellidex.co.uk

Imraan Valodia

Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the University of the Witwatersrand, and heads the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies. Member of the Presidential Economy Advisory Council.

Alex vd Heever

Chair of Social Security Systems Administration and Management Studies, and Adjunct Professor, Wits School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand