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Economic Outlook 2019

Economic stagnation requires action, but will it be delivered in an election year or will the system continue to crack? Beyond the obvious headlines and current rhetoric, this conference examines the fundamentals, opportunities, inherent weaknesses and prospects for the South African economy in 2019.

Tied to this, of course, is the impact of politics and historical constraints, especially inequality and economic exclusion. Based on the structure of the South African economy, and the twin burdens of large skill gaps and high rates of unemployment, we ask if economic growth alone can answer South Africa’s challenges. 

This conference will unpack the following issues: 

  • The impact politics is likely to have in an election year;
  • The economic outlook for 2019 and the next few years;
  • The near-term and longer-term wins that would help leapfrog our economy to join the fast-growing African economy;
  • How to ensure that the country plays best its competitive advantage, and the implications if it fails to do so;
  • Attracting investment and its impact on growth;
  • Geo-politics and it's effect on emerging markets which are directly impacted by policy and trade decisions;

  • China in Africa;

  • The land debate.


Prof Adrian Saville, GIBS faculty.


Jacko Maree,  chairman Liberty Holdings, Presidential Investment Envoy;

Joel Netshitenzhe,  executive director and board vice-chairperson of the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA)

Themba Baloyi, founder and executive director of Discovery Insure;

Judge Dennis Davis, serving Judge of the High Court, member of the Commission of Enquiry into Tax Structure of South Africa;

Lungisa Fuzile, chief executive officer and executive director at Standard Bank of South Africa;

Stephen Grootes, political commentator and award-winning journalist;

Dr Azar Jammine, director and chief economist, Econometrix;

Professor Ruth Hall,  sits on the President's advisory panel on land reform and  researcher and professor at the University of the Western Cape’s Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS);

Dennis George,  general secretary, The Federation of Unions of South Africa; 

Tanya Cohen, chief executive, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA);

Gina Schoeman, SA economist, Citibank Global Economists Team;

Ann Bernstein, executive director, Centre for Development and Enterprise;

Prince Mashele, author and political analyst;

Prof Tinyiko Maluleke, leading political commentator, University of Pretoria and board of the National Research Foundation (NRF);

Annabel Bishop, chief economist, Investec;

Michael Sassoon, CEO: Sasfin Holdings Limited;

Kamal Ramburuth-Hurt is the co-founder and Chairperson at Rethinking Economics for Africa at Wits University;

Xhanti Payi, economist and head of research at Nascence Advisory and Research;

Seamus Duggan, senior analyst, Control Risks;

Kobus van der Wath, founder & group managing director, Axis Group International / The Beijing Axis and

Ndoni Mcunu, CEO, Black Women in Science (BWIS)

Click here to view programme

Discounts: Book for 5 people or more and receive a 20% discount

Companies wishing to sponsor this conference can contact Katie Kilpatrick on


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  • Professor Adrian Saville

    Adrian Saville’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (cum laude), M.Com (cum laude) and PhD (Economics), which he completed at the University of Natal in 1997 and for which he was awarded the Economics Society of South Africa’s Founders Medal.  He is a UNESCO laureate and a matriculant of Linacre College (Oxford).  He has completed programmes in value investing and competitive strategy at New York’s Columbia University and Harvard Business School in Boston.

    In 1994, while completing his doctorate in economics, Adrian formed an investment vehicle which became the forerunner to Cannon Asset Managers which he founded in 1998.  In 2017 Bidvest Financial Services acquired Cannon Asset Managers. Today Adrian serves as Chief Executive at Cannon Asset Managers.

    Adrian has experience in managing all the major asset classes and has successfully combined teaching and business, having lectured at the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Pretoria, London School of Business, Kelley School of Business, Rotterdam School of Management and the Estonian Business School.  He has held a Professorship of Economics, Finance & Strategy at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) since 2003, where he teaches in the fields of macroeconomics, investment finance and strategy.  Adrian has received the Excellence in Teaching Award at GIBS one ten occasions since 2007.  In 2012 he was nominated for the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Business Professor of the Year Award and in 2014 he received the Central and East European Management Development Association award in teaching excellence.  Adrian’s successful career has encompassed consulting widely to government and the corporate world, including serving as an economic consultant to Visa South Africa. He has presented to global audiences in many destinations, including Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Estonia, France, India, Japan, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, United Kington, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe

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