Top economists to shed light on SA’s National Budget

Annette Willemse -- Wed, 02/11/2015 - 16:28

Top economists to shed light on SA’s National Budget

With the National Budget Day just around the corner, two of the Vaal Triangle Campus’s (NWU Vaal) most reputable alumni – Dr André Mellet and Mr Ettienne Le Roux, will be contributing their highly sought after opinion on the implications and impact of the 2015 National Budget. The Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, will be tabling the 2015 budget on the 25th of February in Parliament. 

It is speculated that the Minister will have to orchestrate a delicate balancing act – taking into consideration not only global and domestic economic uncertainty but also the growing need to continue with initiatives that will stimulate economic growth whilst ensuring consistent service delivery to the public.

Every year the much anticipated budget speech elicits great interest from all spheres of the community, especially with regards to topics such as taxes, infrastructure development, job creation and service delivery. But what does the budget speech mean to Joe Public? How will it affect consumers’ pockets in the short-term? Both Dr Mellet and Mr Le Roux will be breaking-down the budget to audiences ranging from professional auditors, members of academia, representatives from business and industry as well as ordinary South Africans.

Mr Ettienne Le Roux Dr André Mellet

Mr Ettienne le Roux

The impact of the budget speech will come under the spotlight during the Vaal Triangle Campus’s (NWU Vaal) first Alumni Breakfast Forum – as hosted by the Alumni Office on Friday, 27 February 2015. The guest speaker of the day, Mr Ettienne Le Roux, is a Chief Economist at Rand Merchant Bank and a member of the South African Statistics Council.

The event will be hosted at the Quest Conference Centre in Vanderbijlpark. For more information and to book your seat, please contact Alwine Naude on 082 802 9299 or alternatively send an e-mail to Alwine.naude@nwu.ac.za

In 2014, Ettienne was honoured as the NWU Vaal’s Alumnus of the Year – a coveted achievement, since he formed part of a group of four alumni members celebrated by the North-West University.  He studied towards a BCom and Honours BCom degrees during the years 1991-1995 and was also employed as a lecturer on the Vaal Triangle Campus from 1995-1997. Other alumni who received awards were: Advocate Jan Henning (member of the South African Prosecuting Authority), Mr Mokoditloa Eliakim (Alec) Moemi (Director General of Sport and Recreation South Africa) and Pieter Stoker (Physicist).

Dr André Mellet

Dr André Mellet – a senior lecturer within the School of Economics (situated within the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology), made history in 2006 when he became the first-ever academic to be awarded the title of South African Economist of the Year.  He holds a doctor’s degree in monetary economics, and has been a member of the Vaal Triangle staff fraternity for the past 15 year.

Apart from winning the Absa/Beeld Economist of the Year Competition – by the greatest margin ever recorded, Dr Mellet’s name is also synonymous with the annual Nedbank/Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition. This competition offers undergraduate and postgraduate students the opportunity to conduct research on a specific theme related to the National Budget. The winners of the competition get to attend the actual reading of the National Budget in Cape Town and are given the opportunity to share their research with the National Treasury. Dr Mellet is particularly interested in monetary economics, macroeconomics and policy issues.

Following the announcement of the National Budget, Dr Mellet will be travelling between Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Welkom to deliver several keynote addresses – each focusing on the Minister’s budget speech.

NWU Vaal celebrates alumni achievements

According to Me Alwine Naude, Alumni Co-ordinator at the Vaal Triangle Campus, the Campus is justifiably proud of its alumni and therefore celebrate the impact they have on their respective fields of expertise.  “For many years now, alumni from the Vaal Triangle Campus have made their mark – not only in South Africa, but also internationally,” says Naude.