Wits University associate professor of economics Christopher Malikane is likely to join national treasury as part of finance minister Malusi Gigaba’s new entourage.

The Mail & Guardian has learned that talks around terms of Malikane’s appointment as economic advisor are already at an advanced stage.

“It’s still under talks,” Malikane told the M&G about his appointment. “The nature of the relationship, my current job as well at Wits… that will be have to be factored into going forward.
My passion of course is ideas, so my work at Wits is very dear to me,” he added.

Malikane has been openly critical of the ANC and its recently intensified plans for radical economic transformation. Earlier this year the academic lambasted the party for not having the political organisation and unity necessary to effect change. He also highlighted how the current thinking around radical economic transformation was likely to deepen inequality among black South Africans while failing to dismantle a monopoly system.

Now Malikane’s critical thinking and ideas will likely find resonance in Gigaba’s decision making.

“Some of the advice that I will give he will accept and some he will not accept. So there will be that dialectical relationship where I have to convince him and he has to also convince me”.

The Wits academic has already highlighted areas of South Africa’s economic policy that will need to be strengthened to achieve a radical economic transformation. These include increasing government’s support of local industrialisation efforts, the use of State Owned Entities (SOE) to drive youth employment and the creation of state institutions such as a state bank, pharmaceutical company and construction company.