On Monday 18 March I co-hosted this event at the Artscape in Cape Town with Professor Thuli Madonsela (formerly the Public Protector and now the Chair of Social Justice at Stellenbosch University). The plenary speakers included Dr Pali Lehohla (former Statistician-General, head of Statistics South Africa), Dr. Nicky Padayachee from the Presidency, Prof Haroon Bhorat from UCT, Dr. Seeraj Mohamed from the Parliamentary Budget Office and Dr. Miriam Altman from the National Planning Commission. This was followed by parallel sessions on the National Budget and the Economy, Environment and the Economy, Decent Work and Employment and Fostering Inclusive Growth. The plenary presentations were truly extra-ordinary, representing a wide spectrum of economic opinion and perspective. This is the start of a 9 month process of engagement that will culminate in an Economic Policy Brief by December. This, in turn, is part of Thuli’s wider M-Plan strategy aimed at generating a new perspective on South Africa’s future trajectory.

My opening comments: