Sampie Terreblanche obtained his DPhil in Economics from the University of Stellenbosch in 1963. He also attended Harvard University and, at twenty-three, began teaching at the University of the Orange Free State. He spent the lion’s share of his teaching career at the University of Stellenbosch, where he retired as Professor of Economics in 1995 and was appointed as Professor Emeritus the following year. He was awarded honorary doctorates by the University of the Free State in 2005 and by the University of Pretoria in 2013.
Professor Terreblanche participated in numerous international conferences and was hosted by the governments of Belgium, Britain and the USA. He was a Visiting Professor at Princeton, Columbia and the University of Santa Cruz, California. In the 1970s, Terreblanche sat on the seminal Theron Commission into chronic poverty of the coloured community of the Western Cape. He has been an increasingly vocal critic, first of the apartheid government and then the democratic South African government because of the failure of the state to address inequality.
Terreblanche is the author of twelve books, including Politieke ekonomie en sosiale welvaart (Political Economics and Social Prosperity) (1986) and A History of Inequality in South Africa: 1952–2002 (2002). He has also written more than thirty articles for journals and chapters in books, and hundreds of articles and letters in the consumer press.