Educational Background: Master of Business Administration (University of Stellenbosch Business School). Master of Science in Applied Economics (Washington State University, USA), Bachelor of Science Honors Agricultural Economics, and Bachelor of Science Agricultural Economics (North West University)
Experience/ Knowledge: Mr Mhlaba has held the position of National Market Executive for the South African Sugar Association since 2015. His responsibilities include agricultural economic and trade analysis, local and international policy advisory and liaison, and regulatory economics.
He has extensive experience in tariff-related agricultural protection and is currently focused on development finance for small-scale black sugarcane farmers. He has also contributed to the Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan and its various Task Teams. He as also represented the sugar industry at various Ministerial Task Teams as well as the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) Task Teams.
Before joining SASA, Sifiso worked for DNA Economics, a consultancy firm based in Pretoria, and the Competition Commission of South Africa. During this time, he was exposed to broad economic policy analysis, including the state of competition in agricultural markets. He has also lead various monitoring and evaluation research into agricultural projects and policies.
As a result, he has a keen sense of competitive dynamics within the South African food value chain, and understands the necessary balance between local producers, trade openness, the economy, and consumer welfare.
Sifiso is also part-time sugarcane farmer and remains in touch with challenges faced by small-scale farmers and has creative ideas to contribute towards the discourse.