05 November 2021 | Story Dr Nitha Ramnath

The University of the Free State (UFS) is pleased to invite you to its sixth webinar in the 2021 UFS Thought-Leader Webinar Series, titled, Looking through a crystal ball: Predictions for 2022.

About the webinar topic

With daily vaccine rates dropping, it is likely that we will have to wait until 2022 to see a significant proportion of South Africans vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity. This means that significant health risks and pressures will continue lurking for the next two years, which does not bode well for the overall economy, compounded by social pressures. As we approach the end of 2021, we reflect on the year that is almost over, and look ahead to what 2022 may bring politically, economically, and socially – where do we see ourselves in the coming year? These are some of the issues that will be discussed in the webinar.

Background to the UFS Thought-Leader Webinar Series

As a public higher-education institution in South Africa with a responsibility to contribute to public discourse, the UFS will be presenting the webinar as part of the Free State Literature Festival’s online initiative, VrySpraak-digitaal.

The aim of the webinar series is to discuss issues facing South Africa by engaging experts at the university and in South Africa. Some of the topics for 2021 include, among others, reimagining universities for student success; corruption in South Africa – the endemic pandemic; South African politics and the local government elections; is South Africa falling apart; and why vaccinate? In 2020, the webinar series saw the successful participation of leading experts discussing COVID-19 and the crisis facing the country socially, economically, and politically.

This year, in lieu of the Free State Arts Festival, the UFS presents the series virtually over a period of six months.

Sixth webinar presented on 23 November 2021

Date: Tuesday, 23 November 2021
Topic:Looking through a crystal ball: predictions for 2022
Time: 12:30-14:00
RSVP: Alicia Pienaar, pienaaran1@ufs.ac.za by19 November 2021


Prof Francis Petersen
Rector and Vice-Chancellor, UFS


Dr Pali Lehohla
Consultant: Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative
(former Statistician General, South Africa)

Dr Ina Gouws

Senior Lecturer: Governance and Political Transformation, UFS

Ms Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo
Chief Convention Bureau Officer:  South African Tourism

Mr Dawie Roodt
Director and Chief Economist: Efficient Group

Listen: Looking Through a Crystal Ball: Predictions for 2022


Bios of speakers:

Dr Pali Lehohla
Dr Pali Lehohla is the former Statistician General of South Africa, a position he held from 2000 to 2017. He has served as co-chair of PARIS21 and chair of the United Nations Statistical Commission. He was the founding chair of the Statistical Commission for Africa (StatCom Africa) and chairs the Africa Symposium on Statistical Development (ASSD). He was the Vice-President of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) and sponsors the Young African Statisticians (YAS) movement. He has served as one of the twenty-five-member panel on Data Revolution appointed by the UN Secretary General and was a member of the Independent Accountability Panel for the health of women, children, and adolescents. Dr Lehohla has been a forceful advocate for improving the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics systems in Africa. He consulted extensively in the in-conflict, out-of-conflict and fragile states on statistics matters, covering counties such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Cambodia, among others. In 2015, he was recognised by his alma mater, the University of Ghana, for his contribution to the development of statistics. In the same year, he was conferred an honorary doctorate in Commerce by Stellenbosch University. In 2018, the University of KwaZulu-Natal awarded him an honorary doctorate in Science and in 2020, the University of Zululand conferred upon him an honorary doctorate in Science. In October 2018, the University of Johannesburg appointed Dr Lehohla as a Professor of Practice. Since 2018, he has become a Research Associate at the University of Oxford. He is a member of the Executive of Indlulamithi Scenarios 2030 for South Africa. For 20 years to date, he has been a weekly columnist in the Business Report, which provides a lens on the functioning of society.

Dawie Roodt
Dawie Roodt is a founder, director, and chief economist of the Efficient Group. He serves on a variety of investment committees within the Efficient Group. Dawie’s latest role is that of Chairman of Efficient Private Clients, of which Efficient Group is the majority shareholder.

Mr Roodt is a nationally renowned economist with more than 30 years’ experience specialising in monetary and fiscal policy and is currently doing extensive research on the possible impact of ‘crypto’ currencies on monetary policy. He is closely involved with the management of client asset portfolios. Mr Roodt’s interest in international and local politics has grown. He is ranked the most referenced economists in the country and received the prestigious Economist of the Year award by Sake 24, a media house. He has been the anchor presenter of the television programme Ontbytsake for the past 18 years. Mr Roodt has presented more than 1 000 television and 1 500 radio programmes, served as an economist in the South African Reserve Bank, and continues to write as a columnist for several publications.

Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo
Ms Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo was appointed in November 2011 as the Chief Convention Bureau Officer of the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB), a unit within South African Tourism. Ms Kotze-Nhlapo joined South African Tourism following a successful tenure at the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, where she held the position of head of the bureau for six years. Her appointment and the establishment of the National Convention Bureau have worked to strengthen South Africa’s capacity in support of business events efforts to secure bids for the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) industry. Amanda has more than 20 years’ experience in the industry.

Dr Ina Gouws
Dr Ina Gouws is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Studies and Governance at the University of the Free State. Dr Gouws has been active as political commentator for a number of years, focusing mostly on South African politics. As an academic, she is active in undergraduate and postgraduate tuition and research supervision. She is also developing a new curriculum for the Postgraduate Diploma in Governance, as well as an introductory short learning programme for Governance.

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