UKZN’s Talent Excellence and Equity Scholarship recipient, Master of Commerce in Economics graduate Mr Doctor Sangweni, is excited about his future in academia.
The scholarship is awarded to 10 students annually to pursue a master’s degree and do research in the field of economics.
‘Recently there has been growing concern regarding the increasing public debt/GDP ratio and its potential for adverse effects on the ability of policy makers to achieve their objectives,’ said Sangweni.
‘In line with this, my research was on: Inflation Dynamics: the Role of Public Debt in South Africa.
‘South Africa is an inflation-targeting country – a policy aimed at achieving price stability and hence macroeconomic stability. My investigations show that in South Africa’s case, the ratio of debt/GDP is relatively small compared to other developed and developing countries, however, any shocks to the ratio create a significant inflationary response,’ said Sangweni.
The study, supervised by Professor Harold Ngalawa, also highlights the importance of fiscal discipline and recommends that policy makers monitor the stance of fiscal balance.
‘The thesis came at the right time as the government faces immense pressure from the public to provide free tertiary education to help correct imbalances of the past and promote equal opportunities for all,’ said Sangweni.
‘Based on the research, increasing taxes is the only sensible way to achieve this. Borrowing to finance this spending would have significant adverse effects for the economy, ranging from an unstable growing debt/GDP ratio to high and persistent inflation, undermining confidence in the South African market,’ he added.
Sangweni is a member of the Westville Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society and also the Macroeconomics Working Group (MWG) – a body of economists comprising academic staff and postgraduate students from the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
His future plans include completing his PhD and expanding his role in the private sector as the co-founder of Dolsden Oracle (Pty) Ltd, a business consulting firm handling private and public sector assignments.
‘None of this would have been possible without the support of my family and friends as well as the academic and administration staff of my School, especially my supervisor whom I have learned so much from.
‘I thank God almighty for carrying me this far – I owe it all to Him.’
Words: Thandiwe Jumo