Welcome to the website of the Economic Society of South Africa

The Society was established in 1925 and is a discussion forum for economists in academic life, government and business. It has a history of membership from Cabinet Ministers, Governors of the Reserve Bank, Chief Executives of Companies, Directors-General of Government Departments, Academic Leaders and prominent Economists.

Prizes and Awards

Middleton Award

The Economic Society of South Africa (ESSA) annually makes the J.J.I. Middleton award for an article published in the South African Journal of Economics (SAJE).

Conference Student prizes

This prize is awarded at the Gala Dinner for the best Student Paper written and delivered at the Conference.

Become a member

The total membership of the society is approximately 900. Nine regional branches and two foreign branches have been establishes across South Africa. Any person interested in the objectives of the Society may at the discretion of the Council, be enrolled as a member.


Major activities occur at the level of branches, of which there are nine. Seminars and discussions which branches organise serve as important channels for the dissemination of information, interaction between academic, government and business economists on economic and policy issues, and as training forums for economists.

  • Free State
  • Cape Town
  • Eastern Cape
  • Johannesburg
  • KwaZulu Natal
  • North West
  • Pretoria
  • Stellenbosch


Tribute to Professor Professor George Trotter

Dear Colleagues Academic colleagues in the discipline of economics and in the wider academic community, as well as several generations of former UKZN students are deeply saddened by the recent death of Professor George Trotter, who passed away in Hillcrest Hospital on 11 October. George Jameson Trotter was born in Durban in 1937, but grew…

Tribute to Professor Philip Black

The passing of Philip Black in Cape Town at home on 19 June 2015 brought to an end the life of an extraordinary polymath. Philip was not only a doyen of South African economics, but also a highly talented musician, as well as a sportsman of note. Quite apart from his prodigious giftedness across such…

Tribute to Professor Harry Zarenda

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the recent death of Professor Harry Zarenda. Harry was well known in the Economics community, and as a committed member of the Economic Society of South Africa. He was a member of the Economics Department (later the School of Economic and Business Science at Wits for…