About the Department

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Between 1937 and 1947 a whole decade passed without a professor to fill the vacant post. Prof Faantjie Pretorius, who became professor in Statistics in 1946 and Registrar in 1956, was the senior lecturer in Economics between 1937 and 1940. In 1940 Daantjie Franzsen became lecturer and a few years later Jan Sadie joined him. During these ten years, and thereafter, Prof C.G.W. Schumann (a professor in Business Economics) gave classes in different fields of Economics. Strictly spoken, Prof Schumann was an economist because he lectured International Trade at third year and postgraduate level until he retired in 1960.

Eventually the vacant post was filled by the 28-year-old DG Fanzsen (born in 1918), who thus came to be Stellenbosch University's third professor in Economics. He later became one of only five professors to earn the distinction of having served two terms at the University. His first term stretched from 1947 until the end of 1949 and the second was the eight year period between 1976 and 1983. Between serving these terms, he was a professor of Economics at the University of Pretoria (from 1950 to 1961); thereafter he became deputy governor and later on senior deputy governor of the South African Reserve Bank until his return to Stellenbosch in 1976.

During the forties, when Prof Franzsen was still a young lecturer, the influential work of Keynes, General Theory, was published. The result was that the quantification of key magnitudes including population income, savings, investments, consumption and the payment balance was insisted upon by all Western countries. In South Africa the task was executed by Prof Franzsen with the assistance of the Reserve Bank's Department of Economics and the Statistics South Africa. This work was pioneering. At the same time Prof Franzsen acted as South Africa's representative for the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

The work that Prof Franzsen did throughout his career is an outstanding combination of academic work, economic research and participation in economic policy formulation. In each of these three fields, the quality of his work remained exceptional over a fifty year period. He served as chairperson for a wide variety of committees and commissions. Of these, the most important ones were the Franzsen Commission that analysed fiscal and monetary policy (1967-1970), the Committee for Railroad Capital Financing (1976-1884), the Committee for Marginal Goldmines (1978) and the Committee for the Restructuring of Government Debt Commission (1985). In addition, he acted as a member of many other commissions and committees. Some of the most important ones were the Mouton Commission that engaged with competition issues (1976), the Fouche Commission for housing (1977), the Margo Tax Commission (1989) and the Government Debt Commission (1963-1990).

In 1944 Prof Franzsen collaborated with Prof CGW Schumann to publish the first Afrikaans textbook for Economics, called Ekonomie - ‘n inleidende studie. The book was revised and reprinted several times and served for many years as the standard Economics textbook in all Afrikaans universities. During his second term at Stellenbosch, Franzsen focused on tax reformation, fiscal federalism and budget policy. He published many monographs and articles on demography and quantitative economics, especially on national accounts, the business cycle and government finances. The University of South Africa awarded him an honory doctorate in 1989. Prof Franzsen passed away in 2008.

When Prof Franzsen moved to Pretoria in 1951, 32-year-old Jan Sadie (born in 1918) took over his role as Economics professor at Stellenbosch University. Sadie enjoys the special distinction of having served a 33 year long term as professor at the University - from the 1st of January 1951 until 31 December 1983. Furthermore, he was awarded a second doctorate in Economics in March 2000. During his career, both the University of Stellenbosch and Port Elizabeth awarded him honorary doctorates. Prof Sadie passed away in 2005, but his memory lives on; the postgraduate lecture hall on the second floor of the Schumann-building is named after him.

Considering that Prof Sadie's career in the Department had already started in the forties, when the staff complement was still small, he lectured in almost all fields of Economics initially. As time passed, he focused his research and lectures on the Economics of Underdeveloped Regions and Labour Economics. Both of these studies required proper life statistics and consequently the professor grew interested in Demography, particularly Economic Demography. Prof Sadie is not only well-known in the national arena, but also internationally for his revolutionary work in the field of Economic Demography. During the seventeen years after his retirement, the field where Economics and Demography meets also became a hobby for him, in addition to remaining the focus of his research- . Furthermore, he also started evaluating the results of census data collection. The task was highly criticised, but seemed to be one of great importance.

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BER Weekly

22 September 2017
In the domestic section we unpack the latest decision by Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). Against expectations for a cut, the MPC decided to keep the policy interest rate unchanged. Additionally, we look at the latest consumer inflation numbers from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), which shows that August...

Read the full issue
 

BER Weekly

22 September 2017
In the domestic section we unpack the latest decision by Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). Against expectations for a cut, the MPC decided to keep the policy interest rate unchanged. Additionally, we look at the latest consumer inflation numbers from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), which shows that August...

Read the full issue