Nieman News

Sebastian Kleu, a former economics editor for the South African newspaper Die Burger who also served as chairman of the South African Board of Trade and Industry, has died. He was the second South African to be named as a Nieman Fellow and came to Harvard as a member of the class of 1962.

Born near Cape Town in 1926, Kleu started his career as a member of the editorial board of Die Burger in 1950 before being named as the paper’s economics editor. As a Nieman Fellow, he studied economics and went on to earn a doctorate in economics from Harvard Business School in 1966. While at studying in Cambridge, he also was a part-time lecturer in economics at Boston University. After returning to South Africa, he taught business economics at what is now the University of Johannesburg from 1967-1968 and later was an honorary professor at the University of Stellenbosch’s Graduate School of Management. Kleu also helped compile the Dictionary of Economics and Business, published in 2004.

Kleu joined the South African Board of Trade and Industries as a member in 1966 and served as chairman of the board from 1970 to 1986. He also was chair of the Productivity Advisory Council, a member of the Hotel Council and chair of the working group assigned by the minister of economic affairs to create an industrial strategy for South Africa. From 1986 to 1991, he was an economic adviser at the South African Reserve Bank.

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