Wilma Viviers is a professor of International Trade, director of the TRADE research focus area and NRF-rated researcher at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). She has an impressive array of publications, and is a leading authority in the fields of export promotion, competitive intelligence (CI) and economic development.
Prof Viviers’ passionate research interest in, and active contribution towards the realisation of, strategies to improve South Africa’s trade performance and competitiveness, are acknowledged both locally and internationally. Notably, the TRADE-DSM® (Decision Support Model) for the identification of South African export opportunities – which she has launched in this country – is being lauded in both government and business circles as a refreshingly efficient approach to export market selection.
Prof Viviers sits on several national and international committees, and is frequently asked to speak to stakeholder groups about her research initiatives. She has also received numerous awards in recognition of her ground-breaking research over the years. In 2014, she was honoured with the award of a WTO Chair from the World Trade Organization.
Waldo Krugell is a professor in the School of Economics and NRF-rated researcher at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). He has numerous publications to his credit in the fields of geographical economics and foreign direct investment (FDI), as well as tourism economics and the link to development.
These days his research interests range from export margins, and the willingness-to-pay for sustainable tourism, to economics education.
Prof Krugell is an avid blogger, and frequently translates research findings into outputs that are also accessible to policymakers and the general public.
Derick Blaauw is a professor in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). Prior to taking up this position, he lectured Economics at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and at the Soweto and Bloemfontein Campuses of Vista University.
Prof Blaauw’s research interests are mainly in the field of labour and development economics. His current work focuses on the socio-economic dynamics of vulnerable groups in the informal economy, such as car guards, day labourers and waste pickers. Other areas of research include the potential economic impact of green energy projects in the Northern Cape and the role of labour brokers in South Africa’s labour market.
Prof Blaauw has an extensive list of publications in accredited national and international journals, as well as conference and research papers presented at local and international events.
Ewert Kleynhans is an associate professor of Economics in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). He has published more than 40 articles in accredited journals, and has read more than 45 papers at both local and international conferences.
In his research Prof Kleynhans focuses mainly on the competitiveness and efficiency of industries and firms on a micro-economic level - more specifically, the competitiveness platform that confronts industries and firms, especially manufacturers, which in turn is shaped by an array of resources, human capital, market conditions, demand and supply patterns, support programmes, spillovers, firm structures, quality levels, environmental conditions, economic geography, productivity, production functions, and technologies.
Prof Kleynhans often acts as an external examiner and moderator for postgraduate courses, and master’s dissertations and doctoral theses for other universities. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals and also acts as a reviewer. He is a national council member of the South African Academy of Science and Arts (SAAWK).
Henri Bezuidenhout is an associate professor in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). He has several publications to his credit in the area of international factor flows, and his research mainly focuses on foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa.
He is the official South African and African country research partner for the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment at Columbia University in New York and is also involved with domestic stakeholders includings the South African Institute of International Affairs' Economic Diplomacy Programme, South African Provincial Investment Promotion Agencies (PIPAs) and various multinationals. As a result, he has been invited to speak at various forums on his research.
Prof Bezuidenhout is also a formal Executive Business Coach and member of the International Coaching Federation (Associate Certified Coach and Gallup Strengths Coach). He also serves as a cultural intelligence and cross cultural specialist, as a holder of both the Cultural Intelligence Centre (CQ Certified Advanced) and the Cross Culture (Cross Cultural Competency Level II) certifications. Within these areas his coaching focus is on Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), mergers and acquisitions, negotiation and transformational leadership.
Ermie Steenkamp is an associate professor in Economics and International Trade in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). She completed her PhD on identifying export opportunities for South Africa with special reference to Africa.
Prof Steenkamp’s research focuses mainly on international market selection, the measurement of market accessibility and export promotion in South Africa, as well as the analysis of export potential on a provincial or sectoral level. Other interests include measuring the developmental impact of increased exports, especially on unemployment.
Sonja Grater is an associate professor in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). She lectures undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the field of international trade, and also gained practical experience in the freight forwarding industry before joining the University.
Prof Grater's research is mainly focused on trade in services and she has authored several publications in this field. She is particularly interested in the potential of the services trade within a South African context. She also heads up the TRADE-DSM® (Decision Support Model) sectoral research group. As part of her research, Prof Grater developed the Decision Support Model for the identification of South African export opportunities for services in particular. The results of the model can be used by government and businesses to develop and expand export markets for specific service sectors.
Prof Grater is also currently involved in research on global value chains (with a services focus), trade facilitation and FDI.
Anmar Pretorius is a lecturer in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). She currently teaches Econometrics and is also coordinating the Honours students’ research essays.
Prof Pretorius has published in both local and international journals and has presented various papers at local and international conferences. Her research interests include financial economics, applied econometrics, local economic development and green energy. Her doctoral thesis investigated South Africa’s financial market integration with the rest of the world.
Prof Pretorius has also acted as a reviewer and discussant of papers for an international conference focusing on international finance, as well as a reviewer for local and international journals.
Jan Venter is a senior lecturer in Political Studies in the School of Social and Government Studies at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). He holds qualifications from the North-West University, the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany and UNISA. His PhD contained a reconstruction of the ideologies within the Tripartite Governing Alliance in South Africa.
Dr Venter's research interests include political philosophy, political economy and business intelligence. He has also participated in various research projects in collaboration with organised agriculture, helping to broaden people's understanding of the political economy and the dangers of policy uncertainty in the agricultural arena and other sectors. He sits on the editorial boards of a number of national and international academic journals.
Ernst Idsardi is a senior lecturer in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). He obtained his BSc in the Netherlands, his MSc in Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free State, and his PhD in International Trade at the North-West University.
Dr Idsardi's research focuses on agricultural development and international trade. He has worked on numerous research projects for both national and international stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
Gabila Nubong is a political economist with a masters in economics and and PhD in international Relations. He is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Economics of the North West University,
Dr Nubong has work experience as a a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Strategic and Political Affairs (ISPA) at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, a researcher at the Center for Governance Innovation of the University of Pretoria, a project officer at the European Center for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) based in Maastricht, the Netherlands and as a Socio-Economist with the European Union Delegation to South Africa.
His other research interests include the Capacity Dimension for the SDGS, economic development and economic transformation, Regional Economic Integration with focus on the African Union and European Union processes of regional integration.
Carike Claassen is a senior lecturer in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). She recently obtained her PhD in Economics with her thesis title being: 'The state of decoupling before and during the Great Recession'.
Dr Claassen's main research interest lies in understanding emerging market economies, but additional focus areas include business cycle co-movement between emerging markets and advanced economies, and the economic relations between China and Africa.
Johnny van der Merwe is a senior lecturer in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus).
Dr van der Merwe recently completed his PhD, specialising in the field of competitive analysis, price mechanisms and development. Dr van der Merwe’s Master’s degree was judged the best Master’s degree in 2010 at the University of the Free State and was also submitted into the best national thesis competition at the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
Dr van der Merwe’s research is currently focused on analysing the impact of wheat grading, pricing and innovation on the competitiveness of the South African wheat industry. Some of his other research work centres on the trade, development and sustainability of the South African agricultural sector.
Carli Bezuidenhout is a lecturer in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). She lectures undergraduate courses in the degrees BCom Economics as well as BCom International Trade. She has also gained some years of practical experience in economic consulting before joining the University.
Her focus of research is on South African export behaviour at firm level, with a specific labour market focus. She is particularly interested in the employment premium and wage premium of exporting firms as well as the distribution of wages. She recently obtained her PhD in Economics at the North-West University on the topic of "Essays in export behaviour at firm-level".
David Dyason is a senior lecturer in Economics in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). He holds an MCom in Economics from the North-West University, which focused on manufacturing exports and transport costs from South Africa's secondary cities. David has recently completed his PhD studies, the title of his thesis, 'Assessing the economic impact of a South African university campus'.
Prior to joining the North-West University, David worked as a market analyst for Demacon Market Studies. Among the projects he worked on were: economic and socio-impact studies, mixed land use market assessments, local economic development plans, freight and corridor plans, and tourism-related studies. He is also a GIS specialist, with several years' experience in mapping and spatial analysis.
David Spies is a senior lecturer in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus).
Dr Spies’ interests lie in the fields of production economics, value chain analysis, marketing and trade. Through his work, he has made an important contribution to the South African red meat industry, both in the commercial as well as the informal sectors. Future research work that Dr Spies is planning includes the improvement of agricultural productivity in the informal sector.