About the Department
Andrie Schoombee became a professor at the Department in 1999. He received his undergraduate and honours degree at the University of Pretoria and his M.Com and Ph.D at Stellenbosch University.
Prof Schoombee's research concerns financial development. He originally concentrated on the role of the monetary control system in the development of formal financial markets, but his emphasis shifted to the availability of formal and informal financial services to the predominantly black population in South Africa. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals. Prof Schoombee has been chair of the Department since August 2000 and this has led his focus to shift to managing the Department.
Prof Estian Calitz, Director-General of the former Department of Finances of South Africa (now called the National Treasury) between 1993 and 1996, became the dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences in 2001 and, at the same time, professor in the Economics Department. He was appointed the Executive Director of Finance at the University of Stellenbosch on the 1st of January 2003, but this did not lead him to neglect his post in the Department. He lectured Public Economics on the postgraduatel level and also acted as thesis supervisor for postgraduate students. At the end of his five-year contract in the University's management, he returned full-time to the Department where he teaches Macroeconomics and Public Economics to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Prof Calitz has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and is also well-known for his co-authorship of the very successful Public Economics for South African Students, of which three issues have been printed at Oxford University Press.
Stan du Plessis joined the Department towards the end of 1999 and became a Professor in January 2006. He teaches Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics and Advanced Econometrics, mainly to graduate students in Stellenbosch and at the University of Cape Town. His publications in South African and international academic journals include papers on monetary policy, business cycles, applied econometrics, law and economics, and competition policy. He is also regularly contributes articles on economic issues for South Africa's financial press. Du Plessis is an editor of the South African Journal of Economics, a member of the Central Council of the Economic Society of South Africa, and Treasurer and Secretary of the African Econometric Society. He has also served as President of the Economic Society of South Africa.
Since 1970 the University introduced a new system of associate professorship. The system gave many lecturers the opportunity to be appointed as associate professor before accepting the post of a full professorship. Nevertheless, two of these associate professors at the Department were never promoted to being professors and deserve special recognition for their work. Contessa Dr Maria le Lange de Reville (1910-1978) was involved with the Department from 1952 until 1977. Prof De Reville was of Flemish descent and, before the Second World War started, she studied at seven different universities on the European continent. Since she never studied in Britain or America, it could be said that her weltanchauung was fully continentally orientated, differing notably from the Anglo-American academic perspective.
Over the twenty-five years that Prof De Reville was associated with the Department, she developed a reputation for being a real character. Her way of speaking and use of idiomatic language was unique in her mostly Afrikaans-speaking environment, and often caused her students frustration and laughter.
Prof De Reville's main focus was on Micro-economics. She taught the art of abstract, systematic and logic thought to the many students whom she lectured on theoretical economics.
Prof Fanie Cloete was another associate professor, but died in 1988 at the early age of 42. He was a highly valued colleague for several reasons. Not only did he show great loyalty towards his Department and colleagues, but he also had the ability to lecture in any field of Economics on very short notice. His great knowledge and enthusiasm made him a well-loved lecturer with his students. His early death was an enormous loss for the Department. In memory of his life and excellence, the Department awards the best third year and postgraduate student every year with the Fanie Cloete Medal.
Two associate professors were appointed at the beginning of 2006. Rachel Jafta joined the department as lecturer in 1993, and has been promoted to associate professor since the 1st of January 2006. Her research interests include the Economics of technology, competition policy, black economic empowerment and affirmative action as well as International Trade issues. She holds the position of director on the board of several companies and serves on the board of trustees of various NGOs. She is an ardent follower of Formula One Racing.
Prof Yohane Khanfula was also appointed as an associate professor at the beginning of 2006. Before he came to the Department, he worked at the South African Revenue Service and had already published in valued international academic journals. His fields of research are econometrics, public economics and financial economics.
To acknowledge only the contributions that the professors and associate professors have made to the history of the Stellenbosch Department of Economics would not be fair. The importance of the many lecturers and senior lecturers who have also been involved, cannot be overestimated. Professors of other disciplines who made a contribution to our Department that cannot be overlooked, are C.G.W. Schumann and Faantjie Pretorius.
Some previous lecturers left for private or public practice and, through their success, have served as good ambassadors for the Department. In the forties, Dr Dawie Marais became an outstanding businessman after a few years in the Department. In the fifties, Dr Johan Jones and Dr Martin van den Berg left Stellenbosch; Dr Jones became Director-General of Finances in the former South-West Africa, while Dr Van den Berg became Minister of Finances in the government of Dr Lucas Mangope in the former Bophuthatswana.
During the 1960s and early 1970s, Raymond Parsons, Mike Truu, Charles Waite and Wolfgang Thomas were lecturers in the Department. Later on Parsons became the Executive Director of the South African Business Room and a professor at Wits University's Business School. He also served as President of Economics Society of South Africa. Truu accepted professorships at the Universities of Rhodes and Pretoria. Waite was appointed as a professor at the University of Port Elizabeth, and Thomas became the Deputy Director of Wesgro.
During the 1970s Philip Mohr, Jac Laubscher, Frank Biggs, Elwil Beukes and Sterrenberg Pretorius were involved in the Department, although their paths later parted. Mohr went on to become professor in Economics at the University of South Africa, Laubscher became the chief economist of Sanlam and also professor extraordinary at the Department in January 2002. Biggs is a professor at a university college in the U.S.A., while Beukes is a professor at the University of the Free State. Pretorius is employed in a senior post at the South African Reserve Bank.
During the eighties Johan Lötter, Henk Langenhoven, Pieter Laubscher, André Roux and Frans le Roux were lecturers in Economics. These days Lötter is associate professor in Economics at the University of South Africa, Laubscher is a senior researcher at the Bureau for Economic Research, and Roux is associate professor in Future Studies and the director of the Institute for Future Research at the University of Stellenbosch. Dr Le Roux became Deputy Director-General in the National Treasury and has served as South Africa's representative at the I.M.F. in Washington
Department staff who lectured during the nineties included Andrew Smith, John Kruger, Hendrik du Toit, Corné van Walbeek and Betsy Stoltz. Dr Smith later accepted a post in the Competitive Council of the Department of Trade and Industry, while Kruger took a senior post in the National Treasury. Du Toit is currently the chief executive official of Investec Asset Management and Van Walbeek is a senior lecturer in Economics at the University of Cape Town. Stoltz remained a lecturer of the Department until her retirement in the mid-nineties, but is still involved on a part-time basis.