Profile Of Speakers

Haroon Bhorat

Professor of Economics and Director of the Development Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town

Haroon Bhorat is Professor of Economics and Director of the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town.

Prof. Bhorat holds an NRF B2 rating, and with a total citation estimate* of over 7000 and an h-index* of 47, he is one of the most cited South African economists globally. He currently serves on the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), established by President Ramaphosa to generate

new ideas for economic growth, job creation and addressing poverty in South Africa. Prof. Bhorat holds the DST/NRF SARChI Chair in Economic Growth, Poverty and Inequality Research.  He is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; a Research Fellow at IZA, the Institute for the Study of Labour in Bonn; and is a member of the UCT College of Fellows.

Serving in a variety of public roles ranging from high-level advisory work for government departments and multi-lateral institutions, to giving public lectures and seminar presentations at the world’s leading universities  (including  for  example  Columbia,  Cornell,  Yale  and  Oxford),  Prof.  Bhorat’s  ability  to seamlessly switch between conducting hard empirical analysis and providing evidence-based policy advice that is accessible to a broader audience, has had a direct impact on the discipline. His research feeds into policy decisions and pronouncements at the highest level, including Cabinet memoranda, State of the Nation Addresses and legislative promulgation. His work has been hugely influential in policy making in respect of poverty, inequality and labour market issues in South Africa.

He consults with international organizations such as the ILO, the UNDP, the World Bank, Ratings Agencies and emerging market fund managers. He sat on the Advisory Board of the UNDP’s 2019 and 2020 Human Development Reports, and was a member of the World Bank’s Advisory Board of the Commission on Global Poverty, as well as a member of the Program Committee of the 2017 International Economic Association (IEA) World Congress. He is a member on the Advisory Committee of the joint United Nations and World Bank Policy Study on the role of Development in the Prevention of Violent Conflict. He also sits on the UN/WHO’s High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. Haroon previously served as a member of the UN Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (LEP), and was Head of Research for the UN’s High-Level Panel on the Post- 2015 Development Agenda.

Prof. Bhorat has undertaken extensive work for several South African government departments – most notably the South African Department of Labour, the Presidency and the National Treasury, including an appointment as Advisor on the South African Parliament’s High Level Panel on Acceleration of Change and Transformation. He served as an economic advisor to two past Ministers of Finance including Min. Pravin Gordhan, and previous Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, formally serving on the Presidential Economic Advisory Panel.

Prof. Bhorat sits on the editorial advisory board of the World Bank Economic Review, and he is a Board Member of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and UNU World Institute for Development Economics  Research  (UNU-WIDER),  previously  sitting  on  the  HSRC  Board.  He  has  his  PhD  in Economics through Stellenbosch University, studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was a Cornell University research fellow. Prof. Bhorat’s commitments at UCT include lecturing Advanced Labour Economics (Hons), and supervision to Honours, Masters and PhD students.

Read his full bio and access his CV here: