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About UCT Tax Unit for Fiscal Research

Introduction & vision

The UCT Tax Unit for Fiscal Research is an interdisciplinary grouping that draws together academics from UCT’s Faculties of Law and Commerce.

The Unit's vision is:

  • To be Africa’s leading academic research unit in fiscal matters.
  • To draw on global knowledge and research networks in developing fiscal knowledge for the benefit of developing countries, particularly the African continent and South Africa.  
  • To provide a globally recognised platform for engagement in fiscal matters, with an emphasis on a developing country / BRICS context.  
  • To maximise UCT’s existing research and teaching capacity in the field of taxation.
  • To develop and retain African expertise within Africa.  

An important long-term strategic goal of the Unit is the development and retention of academic staff in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent, equipping them with relevant knowledge drawn from global networks and appropriate for the context in which it must be applied. At present, teaching and independent research in fiscal matters at universities in developing countries is underdeveloped. The creation of the Unit assists in attaining this goal of fostering independence by legitimising UCT’s historical leadership role and enabling capacity building initiatives.

The Unit enhances UCT’s public engagement with civil society and create opportunities for engagement at the highest levels of government, tax administrations and professional societies. 

The Unit services a number of UCT’s strategic goals, namely:

  • Internationalising UCT via an Afropolitan Niche:  One of the critical focus areas of the Unit is active engagement and development throughout Africa.  In particular the project “Principles of Taxation for Developing Countries” speaks to such internationalisation.  
  • A Vision for the Development of Research at UCT: Greater Impact, Greater Engagement.  The drawing together of disciplines engaged in fiscal research provides for research that has a significant impact on South Africa, Africa and developing countries beyond the Continent.  The Unit's research fosters engagement between academics, practitioners and governments throughout the world.
  • Enhancing the Quality and Profile of UCT’s Graduates: Developing post-graduate qualifications that are truly interdisciplinary is a significant focus of the Unit.   Such graduates will display attributes not currently found in silo type qualifications.  
  • Expanding and Enhancing UCT’s Contribution to South Africa’s Development Challenges: The Unit is poised to make a significant contribution towards the development of fiscal policy and research.  A number of the members of the proposed Unit are actively engaged in activities that contribute to the country’s development challenges as they relate to the fiscal framework.    


The Unit's governance structure reflects its interdisciplinary nature, being representative of the disciplines engaged in its research and aims.  

Inaugural Director: 
Professor Jennifer Roeleveld (Department of Finance and Tax, Faculty of Commerce) 

Management team:

  1. A/Prof Craig West (Department of Finance and Tax, Faculty of Commerce)
  2. Prof Ingrid Woolard (School of Economics, Faculty of Commerce)
  3. A/Prof Johann Hattingh (Department of Commercial Law, Faculty of Law)

Governance Board:

  1. Prof Pasquale Pistone (Academic Chairman of the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation based in the Netherlands)
  2. Judge Dennis Davis (Honorary Professor, Law Faculty, Judge of the High Court and Chair of the Davis Tax Committee)

The Unit is in the process to constitute an advisory board.