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Meet the Judges

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Rudi Dicks

Rudi has been involved in the competition for many years. He is currently the Executive Director of NALEDI (National Labour and Economic Development Institute) and prior to that he was the Labour Market/Trade and Industrial Policy Coordinator at COSATU. Prior to that Rudi was involved in a variety of unions in the capacity of branch secretary and national sector coordinator. He has a Postgraduate diploma in Economic Principles from the London School of Economics.

Yumna Ebrahim

Yumna has been involved with the Competition since 2009 when she won the prize for first runner-up and since then she has assisted as a virtual tutor, and a Filter Panellist. Yumna holds a masters degree in economics, and is a practising economist in the private sector. She also lectures economics part-time at public and private institutions.

Omano Edigheji

Omano was with the Centre for Policy Studies as a Senior Researcher where he also coordinated the Centre’s research programme. A political economist by training, Omano’s research interests are broadly in the area of International Political Economy, with a focus on Globalisation and the State in developing countries, and on issues of governance, democratisation, civil society and development in Africa in the context of globalisation, as well as state-society relations in developing countries. Omano also researches on South African political economy, including Black Economic Empowerment.

He is in the editorial board of the journal, GLOBALIZATIONS. He is a regular commentor on South African radio, television and newspapers.

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

Ebrahim is the founder of Zapreneur, that builds online tools for small business in South Africa. He previously served as head of the secretariat for the People's Budget Campaign. His current research areas are in the areas of small business and asset building. He serves on the boards of the South African Labour Bulletin and the Community Agency for Social Enquiry. 

Mohammed Jahed

Professor Jahed holds a PhD in Economics and has obtained experience and expertise in economic development, economic policy formulation and public and development management.

He has served as senior economic planning specialist at the Development Bank of Southern Africa. He was appointed Deputy Director General: Office of the Premier Limpopo Province, responsible for economic growth and development, economic policy, economic planning, transformation and provincial administration.  Mohamed joined the South African business sector representative group, the National Business Initiative, as Director of Economics. From 2003 to 2005, he was seconded by the South African Presidency as Chief Economist and Head of Policy, Strategy and Research of the NEPAD Secretariat.  He has been Professor at the University of Witwatersrand in the Graduate School of Public and Development Management (2005-2010) and he teaches macroeconomic policy, public economics and public finance and supervises Master’s and Doctoral candidates. He continues to serve as Visiting Professor at WITS P&DM.

In May 2010, Prof. Jahed has been employed at the Development Bank of Southern Africa as Divisional Executive: Policy and Integration. The function entails supporting Government policy and knowledge management functions.  In addition to having been appointed to the National Presidential BBBEE Advisory Council Broad Based Black, Prof. Jahed serves on various Boards.

Andre Mellet

Andre is a respected financial analyst who has submitted several articles for the Financial Planners Institute (FPI). As an academic, Mr Mellet created several certificate courses in economics and he is furthermore widely regarded as a guest speaker of note on topics regarding economics. He is particularly interested in monetary economics, macroeconomics and policy issues. He has achieved his PhD regarding Economic Policy in South Africa. He has been a lecturer at the North West University Vaal Triangle Campus for the past eleven years where he is subject head of risk. In 2006 Andre won the ABSA/Beeld award of Economist of SA.

Dikgang Motsepe

Dikgang is an Economist and is currently a Senior Lecture at the Wits School of Public & Development Management, focusing on macro-economic policy, development, and public finance. Before joining academia, he worked as a Senior Economist at the NEAPAD Secretariat in the office of Prof. Nkuhlu, the Economic Advisor to President T. M. Mbeki and Chairman of the NEPAD Steering Committee; Programme Manager/Economist at the Business Trust, managing the community investment programme focusing on the Presidential Nodal Economic Development Programme; and a financial market economist at the South African Reserve Bank. He has gained experience in the field of financial markets and development economics.

Dikgang obtained a Masters in Development Finance with the University of Stellenbosch Business School, and both a BCom and BCom (Hons) in Economics from the University of Cape Town.

Andre Roux

Andre has been the Director of the Institute for Futures Research at the University of Stellenbosch since 1996 where he runs various workshops and other strategic intervention sessions with and for leaders and strategists in business and government. He also lectures on economics and futures thinking both locally and internationally. Andre has a PhD in Economics and has published more than 100 popular publications and is supervising 2PhD and 25 masters’ students.

Wilhelmina Smith

Elmine was previously at Vista University, later Central University of Technology in Welkom, Free State where she obtained an M.Ed as well as 2 PhDs – one in Economic Literacy and one in Accounting Methodology.  She then joined the Business Management Department where she lectured Accounting, as well as Post Graduate supervision on Honours, Masters and PhD level.

In 2011 Elmine took up a post at the University of Fort Hare (Alice) in the Department of Business Management, where I am responsible for lecturing Marketing Research to final year B Comm students, as well as having 10 Honours and 8 Masters students in various aspects of Business Management.

Samantha Springfield

Samantha Springfield is a Deputy General Manager in the International Economic Relations and Policy Department at the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). Samantha obtained a Masters degree in Economics at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in 2000, with the thesis focussing on the South African Reserve Bank’s then new Repo system of monetary control.

Samantha initially began her career in 1998 as a Junior Economist at the SARB, and in 2001 was appointed as a Fixed Income Economist at Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank. In 2004, Samantha returned to the SARB, to join the Financial Markets Department as a Senior Manager and then later as an Assistant General Manager in the Market Research Unit. In this role, Samantha was responsible for the Financial Market Department’s input to the Monetary Policy Committee and Financial Stability Committee of the SARB. In May 2011, she was appointed as an Executive Assistant in the office of the Deputy Governor: Markets. In February 2014, Samantha was promoted into her current role, where she deals with G20 and BRICS related matters. Samantha is a member of the Reserves Management Committee of the SARB.

Adjudication Panel

Anthony Julies

Anthony is the Chief Director: Strategy and Risk Manager Asset and Liability Management Division at National Treasury. Initially he worked in the area of international development finance, responsible for South Africa’s strategic engagement with multilateral financial (development) institutions. He was appointed by government to serve as an Executive Director on the Executive Board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 2001, representing a constituency of Southern African countries for a period of three years. While on the Board of the AfDB, he chaired the Audit and Finance committee and represented South Africa in the replenishment negotiations of the African Development Fund (ADF). Upon his return to South Africa in 2004, he joined the Assets and Liability Management Division of the National Treasury as Chief Director: Strategy and Risk Management responsible for government-wide financial risk management (market risk, country risk, and credit risk and include managing the risks associated with South Africa’s international credit ratings, the government debt portfolio and the contingent liabilities of government). He also served on the Board of the South African short-term Re-insurance Agency (SASRIA) from 2007 to 2009 and currently serves on the Boards of the South African National Roads Agency limited (SANRAL) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). On the SANRAL Board, he chairs the Assets and Liability Committee (ALCO).

Busisiwe Radebe

Busi is an economist with the Nedbank Group Economic Unit.

She started out her career with economics consultancy at Genesis analytics, before stints as an economics reporter with a business news channel, a short period with the South African Competition Commission’s policy and research unit and as assistant economist with Renaissance Capital (formerly Barnard Jacobs Mellet).

She holds a Masters degree in economics from the University of Johannesburg and an honours degree from the University of Stellenbosch. Her interests include monetary and development economics.

Dennis Dykes

Dennis is the Nedbank Group's Chief Economist.  He joined the Group in December 1983 and was appointed Chief Economist in May 1994.  He serves on a number of organised business committees.  He is a director of SACCI, the Chairman of Business Unity South Africa’s Standing Committee on Economic Policy and is a business representative on the Nedlac Public Finance and Monetary Policy Chamber.  He is the author of many articles for in-house and external publications.    In 2012 Dennis won both the Reuters and the Sake24 Economist of the Year awards.  He is also the winner of the 2003 Reuters award.

His qualifications include an honours degree from Bath University and a master's degree in economics from the London School of Economics and is a long-standing member of the Competition Adjudication panel.

Debra Marsden

Debra was General Manager: Corporate Affairs and Transformation of Old Mutual from 1997 to 2004. Prior to Old Mutual, Debra had the following positions: Economic Affairs Director of the Consultative Business Movement, Secretariat Head of the National Economic Forum and Deputy Director of the National Economic Development and Labour Council Nedlac. She designed and implemented Old Mutual’s transformation programme and formed part of the 10-person negotiating team which developed the Financial Sector Charter.

Debra joined WIPHOLD in 2005. Her portfolio includes assisting WIPHOLD investee companies with the development of transformative business strategies that align their business models to South Africa’s developmental challenges. Debra has a B Bus Sc from UCT.

Johann Els

Johann has a B Comm (Hons) and a M Com and he is one of two economists at Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa (OMIGSA) and he is jointly responsible for all areas of macro-economic research. This includes analysis of the global economy as well as local economic research with specific focus on inflation and fiscal matters.

After graduating at the University of Stellenbosch, Johann joined the Reserve Bank’s economics department and after a period as an economics lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch, he joined Trust Bank as an economist. He was been with Old Mutual since 1991.

Patrick Ntshalintshali

Patrick began his financial services career in 1996 as a research analyst for Syfrets Managed Assets before advancing to become a portfolio/fund manager for unit trusts and retirement funds. In 2000, he joined Old Mutual Asset Managers (OMAM) as an analyst and portfolio manager for industrial sector funds and the multi-award winning Old Mutual Consumer Fund. Later, he managed retirement funds for a range of major clients, achieving a number of investment performance awards (Raging Bull Awards and FM Standard and Poor Awards) as well as BBQ’s Best Investment Manager of the Year and ABSIP Achiever Award.

When Patrick left Old Mutual in 2008, he held the designation of Joint Head of Core Equity Investments, an investment boutique within OMIGSA managing around R47 billion in funds. At the end of 2008, he co-founded Mntungwa Investment Holdings; an investment-holding company based in Cape Town and Johannesburg with investments in the mining, financial services, information technology and property-development industries.

Qualifications: B.Com Honours in Investments, Exec Dev Programme

Rian le Roux

Rian has a B Econ (Hons) and is Head of Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa (OMIGSA) :  Macrosolutions and Economic Research unit.  He is responsible for macro economic research undertaken by OMIGSA. After graduating, Rian was with the SA Reserve Bank before joining Old Mutual’s Economic Research Unit.

Mandla Maleka

Mandla is the Chief Economist in the Treasury at Eskom where he was worked since 1999. Prior that he was the Director of Municipal Finance Policy at National Treasury and before that he was an Economist with RMB Asset Management. He qualified in 1993 from the University of the Western Cape with a M Econ.

Nazmeera Moola

Nazmeera is currently co-head of sales at Macquarie First South with her primary responsibilities including sales coverage of SA and London-based emerging market portfolio managers. Prior to this she was head of macro strategy and prior to that the SA economist at investment bank Merrill Lynch as well as a non-executive director with Daimler Chrysler. She writes a regular column for the Financial Mail. In 2004, Nazmeera won the Reuters Economist of the Year award and she was finalist in the Budget Spech Competition in 2000. She has a BSc degree from the University of Cape Town and is a certified chartered financial analyst.

Maureen Mashiane

Maureen holds a Bachelor of commerce degree from University of Limpopo with Economics and Mathematical statistics as major courses. Postgraduate studies include an Honours degree in Economics and a Masters degree in Econometrics, both obtained at the University of Pretoria. She joined Public Investment Corporation (PIC) in 2006. As an Economist, she is responsible for economic research, macro forecasts as well as the investment strategy. The previous position held was at the South African Reserve Bank as an Economist in the Macro models division.

She joined the adjudicator’s panel of Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech competition in 2009. She enjoys marking the essays as it makes her tap into the versatile thinking of current students.

Besides work, she likes to relax with her family, reading books on personal development and spiritual upliftment. Travelling is an opportunity she will never miss.

Kuben Naidoo

Kuben Naidoo is an advisor to Governor Gill Marcus and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee at the Reserve Bank. He has previously worked for the National Planning Commission and the National Treasury, where he headed the Budget Office from 2006 to 2010. Kuben also did a two year stint at the UK Treasury, working on their budget.

Our History

Launched in 1972, this year sees the competition celebrate its 43rd year. Whilst the format of the event has evolved over the last four decades to keep up with the changing times, judges have continued to select essays written by some of the top economic minds our country has produced.


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