Thando Vilakazi


Thando Vilakazi is an economist at Acacia Economics and a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development at the University of Johannesburg.

He worked as an economist in the Policy and Research Division at the Competition Commission of South Africa from 2010 to 2014. Thando has experience in undertaking investigations and conducting economic analysis for competition law investigations and academic research in a wide range of sectors including healthcare, telecommunications and mobile financial services, cement, fertilizer, sugar, retail, cross-border road transport and air transport. He has also been involved in facilitating training and providing economic advice on competition issues in various African countries, and coordinated the joint African Competition Forum (ACF) sugar industry research project involving competition authorities from southern and East Africa. Thando has also authored a number of conference papers and book chapters on various issues in competition and regional integration. Most recently he has led research on regional integration in Southern Africa, barriers to entry and inclusive growth, and the strategies and investments of large firms in the South African economy.

Thando is currently a PhD candidate (Economics) with the University of Johannesburg. He holds a Master of Commerce degree in Applied Economics (Development) from the University of Cape Town and a BBusSc in Management Studies (Economics) from the same institution.


Experience in conducting economic analysis on complex enforcement and cartel cases, and mergers and acquisitions for the Competition Commission of South Africa in a wide range of sectors including telecommunications, healthcare, grocery retail, the sugar industry, seed production and distribution, grain storage, airports and airlines, payment systems, the glass industry, horseracing, manufacturing automation, and pharmaceuticals. 

South Africa (2016). Provided expert advice to ICASA in relation to the merger proceedings between Vodacom and Neotel.

South Africa (2015–2016). Provided economic research on competition in the provision of mobile financial services in Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Zambia (2015-2016). Provided expert advice to Zambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on an abuse of dominance (excessive pricing) case.  

South Africa (2015). Co-authored reports for National Treasury on behalf of CCRED assessing barriers to entry and expansion in mobile money and low cost airlines in South Africa.

Kenya (2015 - ongoing). Part of a team providing research and advice on a market inquiry into Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) for the Competition Authority of Kenya, which relates to the use of telecommunications services for mobile financial services.

Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi (2015). Contributed to Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development research for GIZ and SADC on competitive dynamics in the road freight and fertilizer trading sectors of Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi.

Malawi (2015). Completed study on behalf of Malawi Competition and Fair Trading Commission on competition in the Malawi transport sector covering road, air, rail and marine transportation. 

South Africa (2014). Advised a client in the financial services sector on the competition effects of a potential merger in the sector.

South Africa (2014). Provided economic advice to the Zimbabwean Competition and Tariff Commission on an abuse of dominance investigation for the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development.

South Africa (2014). Taught on a Masters Elective course on the relationship between competition policy, industrial policy and economic development at the University of Witwatersrand in 2014.

South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe (2014-2016). Provided training on competition economics to competition economists and lawyers in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

South Africa (2012). Coordinated and co-authored the African Competition Forum (ACF) research project on regional competition dynamics in the sugar industry in Kenya, Zambia, South Africa and Tanzania involving researchers from each country.

Posted on September 30, 2016 .