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19 June 2023

Treasury and HSRC to launch Spatial Economic Activity Data: South Africa (SEADsa)

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Media Advisory

All relevant documents are available for DOWNLOAD below:

SEADsa Launch Programme

SEADsa Launch Concept Note

Keynote address by Minister of Finance – Mr Enoch Godongwana at the South Africa SEAD SA LAUNCH

Opening Address by the HSRC CEO Dr Prof Sarah Mosoetsa

Pretoria, Sunday, 18 June 2023 –The National Treasury and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) invite members of the media to a virtual launch of the Spatial Economic Activity Data: South Africa (SEADsa). The event will be held on Monday, 19 June 2023, at 9:00.

SEADsa is a new initiative that addresses the data gap about the economic performance of cities and the wider economic geography of the country by leveraging tax and other administrative data sources.

According to the HSRC’s Dr Justin Visagie, insufficient attention has been paid to the performance of South African cities, regions and local economies, partly because of a lack of credible data.

“Municipal managers and local officials are required to plan for more productive, inclusive and sustainable economies, yet lack credible information about the ‘what’ and ‘where’ of jobs and investment. Businesses and other local stakeholders lack the evidence base from which to advocate for change or hold leaders to account.

“For the first time, granular spatial data exists to help inform vital policy, planning and research questions about urbanisation; uneven development; territorial disparities; and productivity and economic conditions of municipalities, cities, towns, and suburbs/wards,” said Dr Visagie.

He said creating disaggregated and granular economic data, which is mindful of the interaction between the economy and social inclusion, is essential for monitoring changing economic conditions and sectoral and spatial shifts over time.

The SEADsa programme involves a wide range of partners and is a strong example of the value of joint governance. The programme is currently led by the HSRC in collaboration with the National Treasury’s Cities Support Programme and Economic Policy Unit.

Other programme partners include the South African Revenue Services, UNU-WIDER, Statistics South Africa, Metropolitan Municipalities, South African Local Government Association, South African Cities Network, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the University of the Free State.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Enoch Godongwana, will deliver the keynote address. Speakers will also be presenting the Cities Economic Outlook report and showcasing the interactive spatial tax portal.

Details of the launch:

Date:                 19 June 2023

Time:                 9:00 – 11:30 am

Venue:              Online, Zoom


For media enquiries:

Adziliwi Nematandani Cell: +27 82 765 9191 Email: Communication Unit Tel: 012 315 5046 Email:

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Notes to the Editor

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

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