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G20 STUDY GROUP: Ensuring South African and Other Developing Nations Benefit from the G-20's Work on Tax

  • Location: Pretoria

The Economic Diplomacy Programme at SAIIA and the Mandela Institute, School of Law at the University of Witwatersrand hosted a public G-20 Study Group on 'Ensuring South African and Other Developing Nations Benefit from the G-20's Work on Tax.'

Event details

Date:         Monday 20 October 2014
Time:        09h00 – 12h40
Venue:     Chalsty Centre, Oliver Schreiner School of Law Building, West Campus, University of Witwatersrand
Queries:  Julie Dunsford by e-mail on

View photos from the event on SAIIA's Facebook page. Speeches will follow soon.

Click here to watch an SABC video interview with Judge Dennis Davis at the event.

Read an article based on the Study Group in Business Day, Taxing wealthy ‘won’t solve SA’s budget deficit’.

Read an article based on the Study Group in Engineering News, Davis Tax Committee mulls ways to 'detect and deter' corporate tax avoidance.


Key note speaker:  Judge Dennis Davis, Chair of the Davis Tax Committee

Panel Discussion: Pamela Currie, Australian High Commission; Johan Fourie, Director, South African Revenue Service; Lincoln Marais, Director, African Tax Administration Forum; Dennis Dykes, Chief Economist, Nedbank Group Limited; Johnlyn van Reenen, Economic Justice Network.

Moderator: Dr Futhi Mtoba, former Chair, Deloitte SA

Click here to download the programme for the study group.

Key Note Speaker: The Key Note Speaker at this meeting will be Judge Dennis Davis, Chair of the Davis Tax Committee and serving Judge of the High Court. Judge Davis was a member of the Commission of Enquiry into Tax Structure of South Africa (the Katz Commission) and was a Technical Advisor to the Constitutional Assembly where the negotiations for South Africa's interim and final constitutions were formulated and concluded. He also teaches tax law at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Dennis was educated at Herzlia School, UCT and Cambridge University. He began teaching at UCT in 1977 and was appointed to a personal chair of Commercial Law in 1989. Between 1991 and 1997 he was Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies of the University of the Witwatersrand. He held joint appointments at Wits and UCT 1995 – 1997, was appointed a Judge of the High Court in 1998 and as President of the Competition Appeal Court in 2000. Since his appointment to the Bench, he has continued to teach constitutional law and tax law at UCT where he is an Honorary Professor of Law. He has been a visiting lecturer/professor at the Universities of Cambridge, Florida, Toronto and Harvard.

The G-20 and Tax: The G-20 is strongly committed to international cooperation to protect the integrity of national tax systems, in particular with respect to: base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS); international tax transparency and the global sharing of information; and ensuring that developing countries benefit from the G-20’s tax agenda, particularly in relation to information sharing. South Africa is the only African member of the G-20. SAIIA held this pre-G-20 Summit Study Group to look at the progress made by the G-20 on tax under Australia as Chair, particularly in the areas of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) and the automatic exchange of tax information. This focus on tax is further underlined by the recent work of the Davis Tax Committee on BEPS, the September 2014 agreement by G-20 Finance Ministers to finalise the G-20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan and the expectation that the 2014 G-20 Summit will outline implementation plans for the automatic exchange of tax information.  

Useful Links and Resources

'The Reflection of African Concerns in the G-20 Financial Regulation and Financial Development Agenda', SAIIA Occasional Paper, by Peter Wolff, February 2014

'The G-20 and Financial Regulation in Africa', SAIIA Policy Briefing, by Peter Wolff, November 2013

Official G-20 Media Release: G-20 tax symposium shows international cooperation is key

Official G-20 media release: The G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting

Official G-20 Communiqué: Meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Cairns, 20-21 September 2014

Event background

G-20 Study Group Meetings: SAIIA, in partnership with the University of Pretoria, has been holding these meetings since 2010, drawing government, the business sector, academia, think-tanks, labour and other members of civil society. They are structured to allow in-depth discussions on selected issues relating to the G-20 and the effects of its decisions on national and global policy, in advance of the annual G-20 meetings and Summit.

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