Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences ]]> vol. 17 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>South Africa's private sector investment in training and its erosion as a result of HIV and AIDS</b>]]> South Africa's economic prospects depend on the productivity of its labour, and productivity can only be maximised when the labour force possess the appropriate skills. Business is playing its part by offering training opportunities to employees. Collectively, they are spending more than the government's mandated level on training. However, the HIV and AIDS epidemic is eroding this investment in southern Africa where the HIV epidemic is at its worst. While there has been empirical work that provides estimates on the cost of HIV and AIDS to business, there is very little data on the actual amounts large companies spend on training, and how much of this investment is eroded as a result of HIV and AIDS deaths. Using an estimate of the HIV and AIDS death rate in the private sector and survey data which identifies training expenditure by sector, the authors estimate the extent to which HIV and AIDS has potentially eroded this investment. The loss for all sectors was estimated at almost R10 million (R9,871,732) during the study year, which equates to USD1,183,661 per annum. This amount represented on average 0.73 per cent of the actual investment in training. The real costs of HIV and AIDS on business, which includes absenteeism, declining productivity and other costs are difficult to quantify, but they are likely to significantly exceed this lost training investment as a result of increasing morbidity and mortality rates due to HIV. It is therefore in a company's best interest to: (1) ensure that a sound HIV and AIDS policy is in place; (2) invest in effective prevention programmes; and (3) provide the appropriate ARV treatment to infected employees if this treatment is not easily accessible through the public health sector. <![CDATA[<b>Capital gains tax in South Africa: perceptions of fairness?</b>]]> Regulatory developments are often presented as being in the public interest but recent studies on corporate governance have suggested otherwise. In some cases, regulatory change is driven more by the self-interest of the political elite than by the need for substantive reform. This paper adds to this debate by considering whether capital gains tax (CGT) in South Africa is an example of a genuine attempt to improve the perceived fairness of the tax system or whether perceptions of fairness are being used simply to further political agendas. The paper concludes that the latter may be the case. South Africa is used as a case study because of the fairly recent introduction of CGT, as an example of a material amendment to tax policy, and because of the country's fairly recent transition to democracy. <![CDATA[<b>The impact of corporate social responsibility factors on the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises</b>]]> Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become increasingly important to the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A positive relationship between the CSR activities of SMEs and their enhanced competitiveness exists, at least if a long-term perspective is adopted (European Competitiveness Report, 2008:106; Mandl & Dorr, 2007:2). Despite the widespread practical and academic interest in CSR and its impact on the competitiveness of SMEs, few theoretical and empirical contributions could be found. The primary objective of this study was to identify and empirically test the CSR factors influencing the competitiveness of SMEs in Uganda. The outcomes of this study will assist SMEs to effectively and responsibly manage their activities to increase their competitiveness. A structured, self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 750 potential SME respondents. The respondents were identified by means of a purposive sampling technique, and the data were collected from 383 usable questionnaires. An exploratory factor analysis was carried out, and Cronbach's alpha coefficients calculated to determine the discriminant validity and reliability of the measuring instrument. Correlations were assessed using structural equation modeling. The empirical results of this study indicate that workforce-oriented CSR activities, society-oriented CSR activities, market-oriented CSR activities and regulated CSR activities significantly influence the competitiveness of SMEs. <![CDATA[<b>Southern African Customs Union revenue, public expenditures and HIV/AIDS in BLNS Countries</b>]]> This study investigates how revenue from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) common revenue pool affects efforts to contain HIV/AIDS in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS countries). Using a dataset for the BLNS countries covering the period 1990-2007 in annual frequency and a health production function, the study estimates a dynamic panel using the Arellano-Bond (1991) difference Generalised Method of Moments. The study results show that an increase in either SACU revenue or aggregate government expenditure increases HIV prevalence rates. Disaggregating the government expenditures into health and non-health outlays reveals that the health expenditure component decreases HIV prevalence rates. To be precise, the study finds that HIV prevalence rates decline when public health expenditures as a percentage of GDP and public health expenditures as a percentage of total government expenditures increase. It is argued, therefore, that the type of public expenditure is of consequence: public health expenditures decrease, while public non-health expenditures increase the HIV prevalence rates, with the ultimate direction of HIV prevalence rates determined by the dominant of the two effects. <![CDATA[<b>The non-consumptive value of selected marine species at Table Mountain National Park: an exploratory study</b>]]> This exploratory study aimed to determine firstly the non-consumptive value of five marine species (whales, the Great White shark, penguins, dolphins and seals) and secondly the sociodemographic and behavioural variables that influence willingness to pay to see these species. This was achieved by means of a structured questionnaire survey conducted at Table Mountain National Park, the largest urban national park in South Africa. The data consisted of responses to 319 fully completed questionnaires. These were analysed using factor analysis and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression analysis. The results showed that the variables influencing willingness to pay differed from species to species, with the biggest differences being found in behavioural rather than sociodemographic variables. In showing how much respondents were willing to pay to see the various species and which species they preferred, the results also highlighted the non-consumptive value of the species. <![CDATA[<b>Building a scenario based active mapping investment tool within a physical asset management framework</b>]]> This study explores the implementation of an integrated capital budgeting visual mapping framework comprised of both Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) and Real Options Analysis (ROA) techniques. Physical asset investment decisions are based largely on rigid discounted cash flow tools which provide untimely and incomplete decisional criteria. While literature outlines the widespread use of traditional DCF techniques, it nevertheless reveals extensive limitations, including its static inflexibility and slow-to-evolve framework. ROA is a more recent valuation tool based on stock option theory. It brings into account added value found in the flexibility of managerial decision-making and uncertain conditions. This study implements a combined DCF and ROA capital budgeting tool within a Physical Asset Management (PAM) environment. The validity of the framework is realised through an industry-relevant case study presented by a South African mining company. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of transaction costs on mushroom producers' choice of marketing channels</b>: <b>implications for access to agricultural markets in Swaziland</b>]]> Mushrooms are highly perishable agricultural commodities, and as such their marketing is invariably associated with high transaction costs. Despite the mushroom enterprise gaining popularity in a number of sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, where production is dominated by rural-based small-scale farmers, no research has been done to study the nature and complexity of transaction costs encountered by these producers in attempting to participate in mainstream supply chains. This study uses cross-section data obtained in 2011/2012 from mushroom producers in Swaziland to study the effects of transaction costs on producers' choice of marketing channels and the quantity of mushrooms supplied. Having used Cragg's model for analysis, the results indicate that producers' decisions of where to sell their mushrooms are significantly affected by household labour endowment, production capacity, access to cooling facilities and market information, and producers' bargaining position. Meanwhile, the quantities of mushrooms sold are significantly influenced by the difficulty in accessing reliable transport and producers' level of uncertainty in meeting buyers' quality requirements. The study concludes by highlighting potential interventions that could minimise marketing and transaction costs and further improve the general agricultural marketing environment in Swaziland. <![CDATA[<b>A First step towards Service-Dominant logic as a new approach to overcome challenges in business intelligence</b>]]> High expectations are set for Business Intelligence (BI), yet it fails to consistently deliver accordingly: there are numerous reports of BI challenges and failures. Existing approaches to address BI challenges are largely found to be ineffective, highlighting the need for a new approach. This paper examines how BI is perceived or understood and establishes that, firstly, BI is inherently grounded in Goods-Dominant (G-D) logic and secondly, that this can be linked to the challenges that are experienced within BI. A recommendation is made for a shift to Service-Dominant (S-D) logic as a new avenue of exploration to assist in overcoming BI's prevailing challenges. Identifying the inherent G-D logic in BI provides the first step necessary in making this shift. Research findings are based on an interpretive case study of a South African Banking institution as well as a literature review.