Economist. Business                                                                                                  

Based: Johannesburg

By virtue of his father’s diplomatic career, Dr Roelof Botha received his early schooling in Sweden, The Netherlands, and Germany. Since then, a diversified career in management accounting, financial journalism, lecturing, research and consulting has provided opportunities to contribute to the formulation of macro-economic policies within several of the SADC countries.

His Honours and Masters degrees were both obtained cum laude at the University of Pretoria, whilst the Doctorate was completed at Rand Afrikaans University.

He was granted three achievement bursaries and won two academic excellence awards during his studies. He has participated in competitive soccer, cricket and sport parachuting. In 2005, he received the Sake-24/ABSA award for Economist of the Year, based on the accuracy of forecasts of key economic indicators. He has been an economic advisor to PricewaterhouseCoopers for the past 14 years.

Combined with teaching courses in applied macroeconomics at the University of Pretoria, The University of Johannesburg (formerly RAU), the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and Tshwane University of Technology, this has ensured continued exposure to decision-makers in virtually all of the country’s economic sectors. His consulting clients read like an extract from the JSE, but also include public sector agencies and several international organisations.

Areas of expertise include overviews and forecasts of key economic indicators (e.g. exchange rates, interest rates, GDP growth and capital formation); trends with regard to emerging market economies; the envisaged impact of the 2010 Soccer World Cup; and the phenomenon of globalisation.

In his own unique style of blending the serious matters of economics and politics with the lighter side of life, Dr Botha has managed to captivate audiences around the country. Most of his presentations are regarded as broadly motivational, in terms of highlighting research that confirms numerous positive structural changes in the South African economy, including an objective reflection on the future of the country and the SADC region.