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Welcome to ERSA’s Conversation Series. In these conversations, we explore topical economic issues and see how they affect our daily lives here in South Africa. Speaking to experienced and knowledgeable people in the field, we gain perspectives and insights from both a practical and a policy level.


Building back fairer from the Covid-19 Pandemic in South Africa

Thu, 18 November 2021

Post-pandemic, South Africa’s economy finds itself in a constrained fiscal environment...Read more


A positive MTBPS: getting to know Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana

Fri, 12 November 2021

After our new Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana delivered his first Medium Term Budget...Read more


Dr Matthew Stern on understanding South Africa’s trade policy and performance

Tue, 03 August 2021

An issue often overlooked in many discussions is that of exports and trade in the South African economy. But with a downward trajectory over the past 20 years having indirectly cost our general...Read more


Prof Andreas Wörgötter on addressing current and persisting challenges in South Africa’s labour market

Thu, 15 July 2021

At a time when tensions are rising due to growing inequality and unemployment, ERSA’s host...Read more


Sailing into the Wind: evaluating the near future of monetary policy in SA

Thu, 24 June 2021

Only three times in the last century has monetary policy been re-evaluated and tested to its limits. This global pandemic has forced many central banks around the world to use non-conventional...Read more


SA’s labour market: is a national lockdown as severe as we think?

Fri, 14 May 2021

It is just over a year since South Africa had to succumb to what was considered one of the most draconian national lockdowns, and as expected, we have noticed a...Read more

To learn more about this topic, take a look at Tim's working paper and webinar.


Developing a forex network model to highlight risk transmission channels in a timely manner

Mon, 03 May 2021

Have you ever wondered how sensitive the South African Rand is to shocks in other currencies? Instead of debating the relative volatility of the rand or the factors influencing this volatility,...Read more

Additional Resources:


Permanent spending habits: What to listen for while politicians campaign

Thu, 29 April 2021

It is not often that a country has an opportunity to allocate windfall government funds. Between the external pressure to stabilize our debt burden after the unexpected pandemic and the internal...Read more


South Africa’s Truck-o-meter for GDP

Thu, 18 March 2021

In our second podcast with Dr Daan Steenkamp, a lead economist at the South African Reserve Bank, we delve further into how nowcasting works and discuss the latest research regarding the suite of...Read more

For Truck-o-meter slides, click here.


SA’s Budget Speech adopts a business-friendly approach

Fri, 05 March 2021

After the challenges raised by Covid-19 and the increasing risks concerning South Africa’s fiscal sustainability, there were three objectives that the Finance...Read more


Budget 2021: Good news from SA’s 2020 Monetary and Fiscal Policy Decisions

Thu, 18 February 2021

Joining ERSA’s host in this podcast is Isaah Mhlanga, a Chief Economist at Alexander Forbes. Together they discuss expectations for the upcoming 2021 Budget...Read more


Where does a quarter of the IMF’s Capacity Development Budget go?

Fri, 04 December 2020

In this podcast, ERSA’s host speaks to Dr Biniam Bedasso about Public Finance Management, which plays a significant role in reducing inequality in an economy. You may be familiar with the Public...Read more


Attention South Africa: Lessons and challenges from Structural Reforms in Italy

Mon, 30 November 2020

After its sovereign debt crisis in 2011, Italy experienced its worst recession since World War II. With the labour market heavily dependent on the manufacturing sector and facing decreasing...Read more


Immigration and political preferences in South Africa

Wed, 11 November 2020

During the past week the buzz word has been ‘voting’, given the nail-biting US elections that have recently taken place. In this podcast, ERSA’s host speaks to Dr Biniam Bedasso who is an expert...Read more


Dr Daan Steenkamp explains Nowcasting

Mon, 26 October 2020

With the unprecedented level of uncertainty in the economy, the ability to adapt has never been more important. This is especially true in the world of forecasting. In this podcast, ERSA’s host is...Read more

For slides, click here.


Prof Scott Baker on measuring economic policy uncertainty

Fri, 16 October 2020

Levels of uncertainty have existed throughout time yet measuring uncertainty in the past has posed many challenges. An Associate Professor of Finance from Kellogg School of Management, Prof. Scott...Read more


Dr Chris Loewald on Learnings from Lockdown

Mon, 12 October 2020

Shortly after the October MPR, ERSA’s host sat down with Dr Chris Loewald, the Head of the Research Department at the Reserve Bank, and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee to discuss some of...Read more


A new modelling network is born

Thu, 01 October 2020

Adapting to the times, ERSA introduces its new initiative – the South African Modelling Network. In this podcast, Margaux G meets up with ERSA’s Deputy...Read more

Click here to learn more.


Why did South Africa’s Unemployment rate go down this Covid-Quarter?

Fri, 02 October 2020

In this podcast, ERSA’s host speaks to Isaah Mhlanga, a Chief Economist at Alexander Forbes about the latest unemployment figures released by Statistics...Read more


Prof. Estian Calitz on Fiscal Sustainability in South Africa

Wed, 08 July 2020

Shortly after the Minister of Finance gave his Supplementary Budget Speech, ERSA’s host, Margaux G met up with Prof. Estian Calitz, an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of...Read more