REDI3x3 book launch for 'A measure of our ills – and how we may fix them'

December 2022

27 January 2023, 11:00-13:15 (UTC+2)

Faculty of Commerce University of Cape Town Private, School of Economics, 4th floor, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7701, South Africa

On 27 January 2023, a launch of a new book synthesizing the research findings and policy recommendations from over 79 research papers produced by the REDI3x3 project will take place at the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town. The purpose of this event is not only to launch the book A Measure of our Ills – and how we might fix them, but also to acknowledge the role played by scores of researchers and policymakers, and highlight the ongoing role that research can play in policymaking. 

In 2012, shortly before the end of the first term of former South African President Jacob Zuma’s administration, with the economy sluggish and inequality and unemployment stubbornly high, the National Treasury, then led by Pravin Gordhan, saw a new urgency for strong evidence to shape appropriate policies

The Treasury invited the University of Cape Town’s Southern African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) to establish an independent, national research project, the Research Project on Employment, Income Inequality and Inclusive Growth (REDI3x3) with three discrete focus areas:

  • Employment and unemployment  (convened by Professor Frederick Fourie)
  • Income distribution (convened by Professor Murray Leibbrandt); and
  • Inclusive growth (convened by Professor Haroon Bhorat)

The project spanned five turbulent years in South Africa’s political economy. The finance minister changed four times during the period, and the early signs of state capture under the Zuma administration grew into well-documented evidence. But under the leadership of the research convenors and key Treasury officials, it moved steadily ahead. Overall, 79 research papers were produced, covering key gaps in knowledge.

The project also produced a book on the informal sector (edited by Frederick Fourie) as well as one on migrant labour in the post-apartheid era (edited by Leslie Bank, Dorrit Posel, and Francis Wilson).

It generated two websites:, which showcased the research in the form of shorter, accessible articles. The website is still active today and hosts articles dealing with key economic policy and development debates. The other is the REDI3x3 website, which hosts the papers produced:

A Measure of our Ills – and how we might fix them by journalist Pippa Green, with a conclusion by former senior Treasury official and SALDRU researcher Andrew Donaldson, is essentially a synthesis report of the REDI3x3 papers, as well as proceeds of policy conferences. It also offers some historical background on the role of research in policymaking. Donaldson addresses key policy priorities to tackle uneven growth, inequality, and unemployment.

The importance of evidence-based policy has now been taken forward by the SA-Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) programme. SA-TIED, like REDI3x3, was initiated by the Treasury, and is supported by UNU-WIDER. It is a natural successor to REDI3x3 and has already produced a wide array of research papers and a synthesis report in its first phase.

Econ3x3, which began as part of REDI3x3, will work with SA-TIED to publish key research findings to make them more accessible to both policymakers and a broader public.






Welcome and introduction

Najwah Allie-Edries, Head of the Jobs Fund, National Treasury, project officer REDI3x3

11:15-11:25 Overview of the REDI3x3 project

Prof Murray Leibbrandt, Director SALDRU, African Centre for Excellence on Inequality Research (ACEIR), Head: REDI3x3

11:25-12:20 Research convenors of the REDI3x3 project

Prof Murray Leibbrandt (Income Distribution)

Prof Haroon Bhorat, Professor, School of Economics and Director: Development Policy Research Unit, UCT (Inclusive Growth)

Prof Frederick Fourie, Professor and Research Fellow, Department of Economics, University of the Free State  (Unemployment)

12:20-12:50 Can evidence from research shape policy?

Dr Neva Seidman Makgetla, Senior Economist: Trade and Industrial Policy at Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS)

Ismail Momoniat, Acting Director-General, National Treasury

12:50-13:05 SA-TIED project/UNU-WIDER

Yolande Smit, National Treasury and SA-TIED Steering Committee

Rachel Gisselquist, UNU-WIDER and SA-TIED Steering Committee

13:05-13:15 Thanks and closing remarks

Pippa Green, Editor Econ3x3, Author: A measure of our ills – and how we may fix them (REDI3x3)

13:15 Lunch  

Speaker bios

Andrew Donaldson

Senior Research Associate, SALDRU

Andrew Donaldson taught Economics at the former University of Transkei, Rhodes University and the University of the Witwatersrand. He joined the then Department of Finance in 1993, and in 2001 was appointed Deputy Director-General with responsibility for the Budget Office and Public Finance in the National Treasury. In 2013, he was appointed acting head of the Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC), an agency of the National Treasury that supports public finance management, public-private partnerships, employment facilitation and infrastructure investment. He chaired the steering committee of the Research Project on Employment, Income Distribution and Inclusive Growth, which ran from 2013 to 2019. In 2018 he joined the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit at the University of Cape Town.

Najwah Allie Edries

DDG National Treasury

Najwah Allie-Edries heads the Project Management Office of the South African National Treasury’s R9-billion Jobs Fund. The Jobs Fund, launched in 2011, operates as a challenge fund: public money is used to co-finance projects with public, private and non-governmental organisations through a competitive grant process. Najwah was the project officer for REDI3x3, as well as a research programme on pathways to youth assets and employability with the Centre for Social Development in Africa, based at the University of Johannesburg. In addition, she was involved in designing the Basic Package of Support for Youth and currently chairs the steering committee. Najwah was instrumental in designing the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI) and is now responsible for overseeing the implementation of the National Youth Service and the National Pathway Management Network Innovation Fund.

Professor Murray Leibbrandt

Director, SALDRU and the African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research (ACEIR), UCT, director REDI3x3

Murray Leibbrandt is a Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town and the Director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU). He holds a PHD in Economics from Notre Dame University. His research focuses on South African poverty‚ inequality and labour market dynamics.  He holds the DST-NRF SARChI Chair in Poverty and Inequality research, and is an IZA Research Fellow. Murray is currently one of the Principal Investigators in the National Income Dynamics Study. He is a past president of the African Econometric Society and of the Economic Society of South Africa, and was Project Director of the Research Project on Employment, Income Distribution and Inclusive Growth (REDI3x3).

Professor Haroon Bhorat

Professor, School of Economics and Director: DPRU, UCT

Haroon Bhorat is a Professor of Economics and Director of the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU). He holds the DST-NRF SARChI Chair in Economic Growth, Poverty, and Inequality. He completed his PhD in Economics at Stellenbosch University. His research focuses on labour market and poverty issues in South Africa, and he has published more than 150 academic journal articles, chapters in books, and working papers. He has undertaken extensive work for numerous South African government departments, most notably the South African Department of Labour, the Presidency, and the National Treasury. He has served on a number of government research advisory panels and consults regularly with international organisations such as the International Labour Organisation, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme. Professor Bhorat has served as economic advisor to Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, and serves on the Presidential Economic Advisory panel.

Professor Frederick Fourie

Professor and Research Fellow, Department of Economics, University of the Free State

Frederick Fourie was appointed professor of economics at the University of the Free State (UFS) in 1982 after obtaining a PhD in Economics from Harvard University. He was appointed UFS distinguished professor in 1998. He has published more than 50 articles in accredited journals and has authored a macroeconomics textbook now in its fourth edition. From 1992-95 he was the founding head of the Unit for Fiscal Analysis in the Department of Finance in Pretoria. He co-authored the policy document leading to the Competition Act 1999 and was a member of the first Competition Tribunal. After serving as DVC: Academic Affairs and then as Vice-Chancellor (2003-08) at the UFS, he returned to academic life as a Research Fellow in the UFS Department of Economics, focusing on unemployment. He was a Research Affiliate at  SALDRU, and from 2012-2019, the research coordinator of REDI3x3. He convened REDI3x3's Unemployment/Employment focus area as well as the Informal Sector Employment Project (ISEP), and is editor of a resultant book: Fourie FCvN (ed.) The South African informal sector: Creating jobs, reducing poverty. HSRC Press 2018. ISBN: 978-0-7969-2534-3.

Dr Neva Seidman Makgetla

Senior Economist: Trade and Industrial Policy at Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS).

Neva has worked for TIPS since November 2015. She was Deputy Director General for Economic Policy in the Economic Development Department from 2010 to 2015. Before joining EDD, Makgetla worked for the Presidency, the DBSA, and COSATU as well as other government departments. Prior to 1994 she worked in various universities in Africa and the United States. Makgetla’s research and publications centre on industrial policy and value- chain analysis, with a focus on mining dependency, and on socio-economic challenges facing South Africa, especially employment creation, inequality, the climate emergency, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ismail Momoniat

Acting DG, National Treasury, DDG National Treasury

Ismail Momoniat holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and was a lecturer in Mathematics at the University of the Witwatersrand. A founding member of the Transvaal Indian Congress and the United Democratic Front, he was detained for several months in 1981 and 1982.

He joined the Treasury in 1995 and was involved in driving  the foundational financial and fiscal legislation that gave effect to the 1996 Constitution  His focus has been on formulating and designing policy, including on the tax system, the financial regulatory system, and the financial governance and accountability framework for the public sector.  Momoniat has also played a major role in the development of policy on climate change and health. He drove the introduction of a Carbon Tax Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and took a key role in drafting the underlying policy papers. Between 2005-2009, he was responsible for international financial relations, including with IMF, World Bank and the African Development Bank. 

He has driven policy to enhance financial stability, including the development of Twin Peaks system following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. This reform led to the establishment of two regulators – one for prudential and the second for market conduct. Momoniat has represented South Africa in key international discussions on tax and financial stability issues at the OECD, IMF, World Bank, and the Financial Stability Board. He has been acting DG of the Treasury since June 2022.

Yolande Smit

National Treasury/SA-TIED Steering Committee


Rachel Gisselquist

UNU-WIDER/SA-TIED Steering Committee

Rachel M. Gisselquist, a political scientist, is a Senior Research Fellow with the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) and a member of the institute’s senior management team. She works on the politics of developing countries, with particular attention to inequality, ethnic politics, state-building and governance and the role of aid therein, democracy and democratization, and sub-Saharan African politics.

Pippa Green

Editor, Econ3x3

Pippa Green was educated at the University of Cape Town and at Columbia University in New York. Her work has been published widely in magazines and newspapers in South Africa and the United States, and she is the author of Choice not Fate: The Life and Times of Trevor Manuel (Penguin, 2008). She has served as deputy editor of The Sunday Independent and Pretoria News and as Head of Radio News at the SABC. She was a recipient of the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard in 1999 and was Ferris Visiting Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in 2006. From 2009-2014 she headed the Journalism Programme at the University of Pretoria, before moving back to Cape Town where she was a communications and media consultant on REDI. From 2019-2021, she served as the National Press Ombudsman.