Parliamentary Capacity Building Programme

EPRI’s Parliamentary Capacity Building Programme (PCBP) has enjoyed continued success since it began in 2000. In 2009, the programme got off to a late start, due to South Africa’s elections in the first semester. Four MPs earned their BCom Honours in Econometrics, Development Economics and Capita Selecta, each completing a mini-thesis, including Deputy Minister of Finance Mr Nhlanhla Nene, who graduated in March. Five MPs graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Economic Policy. One graduate, MP Shoahlane Maja, enrolled at age 62, to complete the degree at age 66 – not for remuneration or a job promotion, but to set a standard for his grandchildren, as he will be the first in his family to graduate. Additionally, 18 MPs are now halfway through their econometrics degree.

The Parliamentary Capacity Building Programme was launched in 2000 to promote social and economic development in South Africa by enhancing capacity for economic policy analysis in the public sector. The programme combines academic rigour with policy relevance, applying course material to current challenges parliamentarians face, and includes a strong quantitative and analytical component. Over the past ten years, it has provided in-service, undergraduate and Master’s level degree training to hundreds of Members of Parliament in South Africa and across the southern African region.

Participants can progress through a two-year Diploma in Economic Policy (equivalent to a BCom degree), a BCom Honours in Economics and finally a Master’s in Economics. The programme offers customised instruction and tutoring and a flexible schedule; classes are taught at Parliament and scheduled in line with the Parliamentary calendar. Multiple entry and exit points allow participants to enrol at any level if they have met established prerequisites. Over the years, the PCBP has seen virtually no attrition and enjoyed a high pass rate.

The programme is designed for and in consultation with South African Parliamentarians and provincial legislators. Graduates are accredited through the University of the Western Cape, and the courses are run in co-operation with UNISA and other South African and international educational and research institutions.


If you are interested in participating in the Parliamentary Capacity Building Programme please contact Kenneth Mac Quene at