Gerhard de Kock 1987


Gerhardus Petrus Christiaan de Kock was born on the 14th of February 1926 in Cape Town. After receiving his schooling in Pretoria, he proceeded to the University of Pretoria where the degrees of BA (cum laude) and MA in Economics (also cum laude) were conferred upon him, the latter in 1947. He then furthered his studies in Economics at Harvard University in the United States of America, being awarded first an masters’ degree and then, in 1950, his doctorate in economics. His doctoral thesis, which was sub­sequently published, is entitled "A History of the South African Reserve Bank 1920 -1952".

Dr De Kock returned to South Africa in 1951 to take up a senior lectureship in Economics at the University of Pretoria - a position he held for five years. He then took the significant step of joining the South African Reserve Bank in 1956. He initially combined his post in the Reserve Bank with that of part-time Professor and Head of the Department of Money and Banking at the University of Pretoria. Since 1965, Dr De Kock has been an honorary professor at that University.

Dr De Kock's potential and expertise in the monetary sphere were recognised at this early stage and resulted in his being designated one of the "Four Outstanding Young Men of the Year" by the Junior Chamber of Commerce of South Africa in 1966.

From August 1968 to June 1971 Dr De Kock served as Alternate Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, on a full-time basis, representing not only South Africa but also Australia, New Zealand, Lesotho and Swaziland. Then, on being appointed one of the Reserve Bank's three Deputy Governors, he returned to South Africa. By then he had established himself internationally as an economist of note, and his promotion to the post of Senior Deputy Governor was followed by his present appointment as Governor of the South African Reserve Bank.

Dr De Kock's contribution to South African monetary policy was further extended by his chairmanship of the Commission of Inquiry into the Monetary System and Monetary Policy in South Africa. This Commission received the Business Achievement of the Year Award from the Rand Daily Mail.

Acknowledgement of his expertise is also evidenced by his membership of many significant economic bodies and his various appointments. Amongst these are his membership of the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister and now of the State President, his appointments as Special Economic Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Governor for South Africa on the Board of Governors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and since June 1983 also as one of the South African Governors of the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Dr De Kock has been a member of the Central Council of the Economic Society of South Africa for several terms, as well as President of the Institute of Bankers in South Africa and is a member of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns.

Many organizations have paid tribute to Dr De Kock's exceptional achievements in the field of business by honouring him with special awards. He is the recipient of the Tinie Louw Award of the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut, the Stals Prize for Economics awarded by the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, the Wits Business School Management Award and many others. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Bankers in South Africa. In addition, Dr De Kock received the Order for Meritorious Service Class 1: Gold from the State President this year. His creative and extensive contributions to the South African economy have thereby been acknowledged at the highest level.

It is not only in the realms of higher finance, both nationally and internationally that Dr De Kock is well-known. His merits and capabilities have also not gone unmarked by academe. In 1982 the University of Natal conferred on him an honorary doctorate in Economics.

As a further testimony to the enduring esteem in which Dr De Kock is held in the academic sphere, the Senate and Council of the University of Port Elizabeth confer the degree of Doctor Commercii, honoris causa, on Gerhardus Petrus Christiaan de Kock.