RESEP is a group of researchers in the Department of Economics at the University of Stellenbosch. It developed around a long-term research focus on issues of poverty, income distribution, social mobility, economic development and social policy. This was further stimulated when Servaas van der Berg in 2008 became the South African National Research Chair in the Economics of Social Policy, financially supported by theNational Research Foundation (NRF). This led to further consolidation of research work in this area.
Two of RESEP’s research projects, one in South Africa and one in Namibia, are selected by the Innocenti Research Centre as among the best 12 projects undertaken within or for UNICEF globally in that year.
The group of social policy researchers expands to around 25 (not all permanent on RESEP’s payroll), and the research group becomes RESEP (Research on Socio-economic Policy). Funding for the chair is obtained from the NRF, while further funding comes from research grants and undertaking research and training for government and other institutions.
Servaas van der Berg becomes South African Research Chair in the Economics of Social Policy in accordance with the NRF/DST’s South African Research Chair’s Initiative; this five-year appointment is twice renewed (2013 & 2018).
1998 – 2007
The Social Policy Research Group (including Derek Yu, Ronelle Burger, Megan Louw and Chris van Wyk) in the Department of Economics generates substantial policy research and forms its own identity.
1995 – 1997
Close participation in policy development, including GEAR (the macroeconomic strategy), and the Lund Committee, which introduces child support grants amounting to R150 billion (almost $11 billion) per year paid to caregivers of poor children, the major cause of poverty reduction in 2000-2008.
1989 – 1994
Lausanne colloquium with ANC team in exile in 1989, led by Tito Mboweni; strong involvement in the pre-transition debates about economic policies for post-apartheid South Africa.
Servaas van der Berg appointed as associate professor of Economics, becoming a full professor in 1991.