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MISTRA Newsletter - November 2022

The Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) is pleased to share with you its fourth newsletter for 2022. In this issue, we report on our partnership with the United Nations (UN) in South Africa;  on conferences and summits we participated in, and on the 10th Mapungubwe Annual Lecture. We are also proud to share a policy paper which reflects on the road to COP27 and two working papers on the energy-water nexus and on parallel tracks of development in the South African political economy.

Please read on the following:

  • Black Management Forum (BMF)  Annual Policy Conference
  • Annual Platinum Group Metals(PGM) Roundtable
  • 10th Mapungubwe Annual Lecture
  • Conference on Developing a Pan-African Agenda Dealing with Global Issues
  • NEDLAC Summit
  • Presentation to the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) Annual Convention 
  • COP27 Policy Paper
  • Energy and Water Nexus Working Paper
  • Working Paper on Lifting the colony while improving the metropolis
  • Opinion pieces by MISTRA staff published in the media.

 We hope you enjoy this issue.


Executive Director, Joel Netshitenzhe was invited to present at the Black Management Forum (BMF)  Annual Policy Conference which was held on the 3rd of November 2022. His presentation was based on the topic, ‘Restructuring South Africa’s Economic Path’.
Download the speech
Watch the recording of the webinar here
MISTRA hosted its 7th Annual Platinum Group Metals (PGM) Roundtable on 26 October 2022.

As a direct outcome of its 2013 research on 'The strategic role of PGMs and the Hydrogen Economy', MISTRA conceptualised the annual Platinum Group Metals (PGM) Roundtable. Since 2016, the Roundtable has become one of MISTRA’s flagship events, bringing together stakeholders in the PGM industry to unite around a common vision for the sector.

Speakers from various institutions, including South Africa’s national minerals research organisation, Mintek; the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI); Sasol, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Department of Minerals and Energy (DMRE) discussed various elements of the theme: Exploring opportunities within the PGM sector for a just transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable society.

The roundtable explored how South Africa’s PGM beneficiation can support the emerging low carbon economy; the implementation of the Hydrogen Society Road Map; green hydrogen export opportunities for South Africa, South Africa’s hydrogen commercialisation strategy; and the South African Platinum Group Metals Industry Roadmap.
Watch the recording of the webinar here
MISTRA, in partnership with the University of Johannesburg, hosted the 10th Mapungubwe Annual Lecture on 05 October 2022. The lecture was delivered by Professor Justin Yifu Lin, former World Bank Chief Economist and one of China’s leading economists and Professor of Economics at the National School of Development, Peking University as well as Founding Director of the China Centre for Economic Research. Professor Lin spoke on the  theme: ‘China’s New Development Paradigm within the Great Global Changes Unseen in a Century’.
Download the lecture
Watch the recording of the webinar here
The Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) South Africa, the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) and the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD) hosted a conference on ‘’Developing a Pan-African Agenda Dealing with Global Issues’’ on 28 September 2022.
Conference speakers included Lindiwe Zulu, Chairperson, ANC Subcommittee on International Relations; Prof Sarah Mosoetsa, CEO, NIHSS; Prof Anna Hornidge, Director of the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS); Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba, former Director-General of International Relations and Co-operation of the Republic of South Africa and Executive Director at Discovery Limited; Prof Babatunde Fagbayibo, Professor in Law, University of South Africa (UNISA); Prof Geci Karuri-Sebina, visiting Associate Professor with the Wits School of Governance, and national organiser of the Civic Tech Innovation Network in Africa; H.E. Sarah-Leigh Elago, President of the African Youth Union and Chairperson of Pan-Afrikan Renaissance; Kingsley Ofei Nkansah, past General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers Union in Ghana; Malaika Mahlatsi (Wa Azania), Researcher, Institute for Global African Affairs (University of Johannesburg); Zaynab Sadan, Regional Plastics Policy Coordinator – Africa, WWF South Africa and Member WWF Global A-team for Innovation; David Maimela, Executive Director, The Polisee Space; Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Former Deputy Chief of Staff, African Union Commission, Addis Ababa,  and Prof Siphamandla Zondi, Director, Institute for Pan African Thought and Conversation, University of Johannesburg.
MISTRA and the United Nations (UN) in South Africa entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) about collaborating to generate new knowledge, host social dialogues and facilitate scenarios development, in order  to advance the UN principle of Leaving No One Behind (LNOB).


Director Operations, Dr Yacoob Abba Omar presented at the National Economic Development and Labour Council’s (Nedlac) 27th Annual National Summit on 09 September 2022. The Nedlac Annual Summit provides a platform for the Nedlac social partners to reflect on the performance of the institution and to engage about its future direction and vision. The Director Operations presented on the ‘Impact of the changing global balance of forces on SA’s economy, poverty and unemployment’.
Download speech
Executive Director, Joel Netshitenzhe presented at the SAPOA Annual Convention & Property Networking on 28 September 2022. The South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) Annual Convention engages on hard-hitting issues impacting on South Africa’s real estate market. The Executive Director was invited to reflect on the ‘State of The South African Political Economy’.
Download speech


The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP27, is hosting its 27th conference from 6 November until 18 November 2022 in Egypt. MISTRA is pleased to release a policy paper reflecting on Africa’s transition to a low carbon economy , titled, ‘The Burning Issues: Navigating Africa’s Road to COP27’.
Download policy paper


MISTRA has released a chapter from its 2016 publication, Earth, Wind and Fire: Unpacking the Political, Economic and Security Implications of Discourse on the Green Economy. The chapter, titled The Energy and Water Nexus: The Case for an Integrated Approach for the Green Economy in South Africa,  explores the relationship between energy and water in South Africa.
Download working paper

MISTRA's working paper, 'Lifting the colony while improving the metropolis – addressing duality in economic development' forms part of MISTRA’s priority research project, The Evolution of the Structure of the South African Economywhich is a critical analysis of the different pathways of economic restructuring, sustainable industrialisation and inclusive growth and development that could possibly characterise the country’s economy.  The research aims to provide an analytical account of sectoral evolution, changes in employment intensity; and the role of the state, labour, infrastructure and technological development in structural reform.

The chapter, written by Joel Netshitenzhe deals with interventions that can help eliminate the parallel streams of lived economic experiences within the South African economy, referred to in the paper as ‘the colony’ and ‘the metropolis’. The interventions proposed in the chapter are aimed at contributing to the narrowing of the economic developmental chasm between the two economic streams.

Download working paper
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