PEOPLE /

Our economists

Simon Roberts

Professor Simon Roberts has been working in the field of competition and regulatory economics for over a decade. He has testified as an expert economist in several landmark cases and advised competition authorities throughout the continent.

Simon is currently the Director of the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development at the University of Johannesburg. Simon held the position of Chief Economist and Manager of the Policy & Research Division at the Competition Commission from November 2006 to December 2012. Prior to joining the Competition Commission he was Associate Professor in Economics at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he established and directed the Corporate Strategy and Industrial Development research programme examining firm decision making and economic development. In addition, Simon has consulted extensively on competition matters over the past 15 years and has been an expert witness in a number of major cases encompassing both mergers and prohibited practices.

Simon holds a PhD from University of London (Birkbeck College), MA from University of East Anglia, and BA (Hons) from Oxford University. He has published widely including in World Competition, Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Industrial and Corporate Change, Journal of African Economies, Development and Change, Journal of International Development and the South African Journal of Economics. 

Simon has been identified as a leading competition economist in both Global Competition Review’s The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists and EuroMoney’s Guide to the World's Leading Competition and Antitrust Lawyers/Economists

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Sha'ista Goga

Sha'ista Goga is an economist focused on competition, economic regulation and healthcare.

Sha'ista has provided regulatory advice to key stakeholders in the healthcare, energy and broadcasting sectors, and has provided analysis and advice to clients on mergers and prohibited practices cases appearing before both South African and Indian competition authorities. Sha'ista has research and consulting experience within both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Sha'ista has a special interest in healthcare and has worked on research and advisory projects related to both public and private healthcare within a consulting and NGO environment.

Sha'ista holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of the Witwatersrand as well as a Master of Philosophy in Economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Sha’ista was an associate lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, and is currently an associate at the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development at the University of Johannesburg. 

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Ryan Hawthorne

Ryan Hawthorne is an economist working on competition and economic regulation.

His focus areas include competition/antitrust economics and the economics of telecommunications regulation. He is an associate of the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) at the University of Johannesburg.  Prior to this he worked at Neotel in a number of capacities including leading projects on expanding broadband networks. Before working at Neotel, he was a senior economist at the Competition Commission of South Africa. This followed work as an economic expert on competition cases with the specialist economic consultancy Johannesburg Economics, of which he was a founder.

Ryan has extensive experience in the economics of regulation and competition. This includes leading the economic analysis for a number of major competition cases for the Competition Commission, including in the telecommunications, dairy, news media, forestry, grocery retail and automotive components sectors. He has also been engaged in strategy development in the telecommunications sector. In addition, he has undertaken a number of research projects, including a critical evaluation of Eskom’s proposed tariff increases for the Minister of Economic Development and an assessment of the Competition Commission Banking Inquiry.

Ryan holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of the Witwatersrand and a BBusSc (Hons), University of Cape Town. He has presented a number of papers at conferences and has several publications. 

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GENNA ROBB

Genna is an economist specialising in competition and regulatory economics.

Genna has worked extensively in economic analysis for competition and regulatory matters across a range of sectors including healthcare, telecommunications, retail, media, financial services, ticketing, agriculture, biotechnology, minerals and mining, aviation and chemicals. She spent four years as an economist at the Competition Commission of South Africa and has also consulted widely to regulators, government and private companies in South Africa and the region. Prior to her current position, she was the Manager of Competition Economics at DNA Economics, where she acted as the expert economist to the Minister of Economic Development and the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services in the Vodacom Neotel merger.

Genna has substantial experience in research and capacity building in topics relating to competition, regulation and industrial policy and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development at the University of Johannesburg.  She has presented and published a number of papers on topics related to competition and regulatory economics. She has also been involved in coordinating and facilitating training on competition economics for practitioners and in teaching a competition economics course for Masters students.

Genna holds a BA in Economics and Management from Oxford University and an MSc in Economics (with distinction) from the University of Warwick.

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Reena das Nair

Reena das Nair is a lead economist at Acacia Economics and is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) at the University of Johannesburg.

Prior to joining CCRED, Reena was Programme Manager: Industrial Policy at Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), a not-for-profit research organisation undertaking economic research for policy makers. Before TIPS, Reena worked as a Principal Economist in the Policy and Research division at the Competition Commission of South Africa. She has experience in undertaking investigations and economic analysis in mergers, abuse of dominance and cartel cases.

She has also undertaken research in economic regulation, particularly in the energy sector. Reena  is currently a PhD candidate (Economics) with the University of Johannesburg. She has an MCom in Economics and BCom (Hons) from the University of the Witwatersrand. She has co-authored several conference papers and has a number of publications.

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Pamela Mondliwa

Pamela Mondliwa is an economist at Acacia Economics and is also a researcher at the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development at the University of Johannesburg.

She has worked as an economist in the Policy and Research division at the Competition Commission of South Africa from 2009 to 2013.Pamela has experience in undertaking investigations and conducting economic analysis of mergers, abuse of dominance and cartel cases, in industries such as petrochemicals, construction, and packaging amongst others. She has also been involved in research for impact assessments of the Commission’s intervention, coordinating capacity building for the Policy and Research division and has contributed to the joint African Competition Forum (ACF) cement project.

Pamela holds a BCom (Hons) from Rhodes University. She has co-authored a number of conference papers.

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Thando Vilakazi

Thando Vilakazi is an economist at Acacia Economics and a Researcher at the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development at the University of Johannesburg.

He has worked as an economist in the Policy and Research Division at the Competition Commission of South Africa from 2010 to 2014. Thando has experience in undertaking investigations and conducting economic analysis of mergers, abuse of dominance and cartel cases in a wide range of sectors including: healthcare, telecommunications, the sugar industry, retail, and the air travel industry. He has also been involved in coordinating and facilitating training on competition issues, and contributed to the joint African Competition Forum (ACF) sugar industry research project involving competition authorities from southern and East Africa. Thando has also co-authored a number of conference papers and made contributions to the Competition Commission’s research on the role of government institutions in markets.

Thando is currently a PhD candidate (Economics) with the University of Johannesburg. He holds a Master of Commerce degree in Applied Economics (Development) from the University of Cape Town and a BBusSc in Management Studies (Economics Stream) from the same institution.

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Anthea Paelo

Anthea is an economist at Acacia Economics and a researcher at the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) at the University of Johannesburg.

Her areas of focus include competition economics, regulation, telecommunications, economic development and financial inclusion. Anthea’s experience in regulation and economics has extended into a number of projects including barriers to entry into key industries in South Africa’s economy such as supply of fuel and the air transport industry. She has also contributed to research on the competitive dynamics of cross-border road freight industry in southern Africa, looking into countries like Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. Other projects have centred on industrialization and growth of manufacturing firms.  Anthea has also been part of the consulting team concerning the Vodacom/Neotel merger case. She has also published a number of articles in the CCRED Quarterly Competition Review on subjects such as competition in the mobile money and pay-tv industries.

Anthea holds a Master of Commerce degree in Development Economics from the University of Johannesburg, BCom (Honours) degree in Public Economics and Development as well as a BCom (Law) degree from the University of Johannesburg. 

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LAURALYN KAZIBONI

Lauralyn Kaziboni is an Economist at Acacia Economics and a researcher at the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) at the University of Johannesburg.

She is an economist specialising in industrial development and regional integration. Lauralyn has conducted research on local economic development in Johannesburg and Gauteng; regional growth in Southern Africa focusing on the mining inputs sector; and mobile money in Zimbabwe. She is also involved in coordinating projects and training in Southern and East Africa.

Lauralyn holds an MCom in Development Economics from the University of Johannesburg. She holds a BCom (Hons) in International Trade and Finance from the University of Johannesburg and a BSocSci majoring in Economics, with minor in Psychology, from Africa University. She has authored a number of conference papers, working papers and articles.

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