Economic Research

Mr Stephen Hanival: Chief Economist


Economic Research is a branch of the dtic, primarily responsible for the provision of strategic economic research and policy advisory support to the Minister, Deputy Ministers and the Director-General. As such, the branch’s strategic objectives are informed by the Department’s strategic objectives and they respond directly to the requirements of the dtic’s political principals. The  branch’s key outputs include economic analysis publications, research reports, economic policy dialogues, policy impact scenario reports and the economic data portals.


The branch’s research management function has evolved over the years, leading to: (i) the establishment of innovative processes and systems which have assisted in improving the rigour, quality and turn-around time of the research commissioned; (ii) the development of mechanisms that have substantially increased the dtic’s access to best-practice research methodologies, high-quality socio-economic research, and policy-relevant research studies of a range of thematic areas in the domestic economy; and (iii) the establishment of efficient and timely mechanisms for wide economic data dissemination – these include the Economic Knowledge Portal, the Economic Data Portal, the Library Management System, and the Economic Updates.


The branch’s mission is to provide high quality strategic economic research and policy advisory support to the Minister, Deputy Ministers and the Director-General.


To be the dtic’s preferred research centre that provides credible and rigorous economic evidence, research, economic intelligence and data which inform the Department’s development of interventions aimed at building a dynamic, industrial and globally competitive South African economy, characterised by inclusive growth and development, decent employment and equity.


To provide economic intelligence, research, data, and policy co-ordination support to the dtic Ministers and Director-General; the Government’s Economic Clusters and the branches of the dtic.

Strategic Objectives

  • To be the dtic’s authoritative voice on the real economy through conducting and commissioning timely, high-quality intelligence, socio-economic research, economic modelling and socio-economic policy analysis
  • To enhance research coherence within the dtic and to contribute to the development of evidence-based, economic policies across Government
  • To institutionalise knowledge management and dissemination of economic intelligence and research within the dtic and to the relevant stakeholders

Structure of the Economic Research Branch

The branch achieves its mandate and strategic objectives through its five business units. These are:

Impact Assessment Unit

This unit is responsible for co-ordinating socio-economic research and conducting economic analysis. Its functions are to:

  • Track and participate in international, regional and local economic policy debates
  • Ensure access to international best-practice research methodologies
  • Economic analysis for policy-oriented audiences
  • Analysis of economic data and production of reports on economic trends such as manufacturing, employment, investment and gross domestic product in South Africa

Statistical Analysis and Modelling Unit (SAM)

SAM provides data services and develops economic models for the dtic. This unit has two sub-units, namely, Statistical Analysis and Statistical Programming. The main functions of the unit are:

  • Data management (e.g. collection of data, cleaning, formatting and uploading into the database) of the dtic’s economic databases
  • Provision of economic data to internal clients
  • Development of economic models for internal clients
  • Collection of primary data
  • Production of trade publications

Research Management Unit (RMU)

RMU provides research management and knowledge services to researchers in ERC and the dtic. Its functions are to:

  • Manage commissioning of research
  • Manage ERC’s Strategic Partnerships
  • Provide support in research skills and capacity development
  • Procure relevant and useful knowledge material/resources for the dtic
  • Create awareness about the latest economic research and analysis publications
  • Facilitate dissemination and sharing of knowledge
  • Maintain an updated Economic Knowledge Portal (EKP) for the dtic

Policy Coordination Unit (PCU)

This unit is mandated with the management of the dtic’s interactions with the Economic Sectors and it ensures policy coherence in the dtic on priority issues, particularly those that promote decent employment through shared economic growth. In achieving its mandate, it performs the following specific functions:

  • Facilitation and tabling of the dtic’s policies to the Cluster
  • Convening and capacitating the Productive Sectors Forum
  • Co-ordination of the dtic’s contribution to the reports of the relevant clusters
  • Co-ordination of the dtic’s contribution to the Cabinet Makgotla and State of the Nation Address (SONA)
  • Drafting the Minister and Deputy Ministers’ budget vote speeches

Stakeholder Management Unit (SMU)

The SMU is responsible for coordinating & participating in the dtic’s engagements with business, labour and other government departments on legislative development and social dialogue. The unit’s specific functions are to:

  • Represent the dtic’s & other government departments’ position in the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), the Trade, Industry and Competition Chamber (TIC) and its sub-committees and task teams.
  • Represent the dtic at the MANCO and EXCO levels of NEDLAC as and when required; and serve on committees and task teams deriving therefrom.
  • Advise the dtic’s divisions and other government departments on the NEDLAC protocol
  • Organise Economic Policy Dialogues so as to catalyse timely debate amongst stakeholders on key economic policy issues which impact on the real economy.

Opinion Piece Topic: Positioning the local API industry as a regional development and manufacturing hub for the African Continent – policy considerations.

Infrastructure-led growth and youth entrepreneurial development support – urgent socio-economic priorities for South Africa’s economic recovery


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