Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences ]]> vol. 13 num. 4 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>African immigrants in South Africa</b>: <b>job takers or job creators?</b>]]> Over the last decade, African immigrants have been met with and exposed to severe manifestations of hostility to their presence in South Africa. A significant number of these migrants have successfully applied their entrepreneurial flair in establishing small enterprises and employing workers, often to the envy of their local counterparts. This paper presents the findings of an empirical study conducted in 2007 on job creation for South Africans by African immigrant entrepreneurs, including face-to-face interviews with 120 African immigrant entrepreneurs. These findings were triangulated with 7 non-governmental organisations that interact with immigrants in Cape Town. A review of the literature on migration, entrepreneurship and immigrant entrepreneurs formed the basis for the study. The findings indicate that more than 80 per cent of African immigrant entrepreneurs interviewed employ South Africans in their businesses. Despite a generally negative national perception of immigrants, this study has also revealed that entrepreneurial skills are transferred from immigrant entrepreneurs to their South African employees. While the study was conducted only in the suburban areas of Cape Town, the researcher believes that the results represent the general trend in South Africa. Further, the study involved only migrants from the African continent. The overall result is an acknowledgement of the contribution that non-citizens are making to the country's growth and development. The findings include recommendations relevant to policy changes on South African immigration law, to inclusive research on the role of immigrants in job creation in South Africa, and to the need for consideration of immigrant entrepreneurs in the allocation of financial support. <![CDATA[<b>The challenge of low employment economic growth in South Africa</b>: <b>1994 - 2008</b>]]> Although the economy has registered positive economic growth over the past 15 years since the demise of apartheid, the formal sector in South Africa has been unable to provide adequate employment for labour. Against a background of the recent almost global recessionary climate, this lack of employment is a serious problem. While government has responded with many initiatives to deal with employment creation, unemployment rates in South Africa remain high. In this paper the problem of low employment economic growth performance is initially examined for the period 1994 -2008 by drawing on the Harrod-Domar model and then over a longer time period by using regression analysis. The paper uses a parsimonious regression model to highlight the probable links between changes in economic growth and changes in employment. The growth elasticity of employment over the 1994-2008 period is low and over a longer time horizon the marginal growth employment effect is weak. <![CDATA[<b>The opportunity cost of the upkeep of the criminal justice system in South Africa from 1980 to 2006</b>]]> South African crime rates rose to unacceptably high levels between 1980 and 2006. As a result, vast amounts of funds were devoted to the upkeep of the criminal justice system - correctional services, justice and the police. Although it is necessary to spend a certain amount on the criminal justice system, South African expenditure was excessive. The excess funds spent on the upkeep of the criminal justice system could have covered the cost of financing the entire backlog in schooling facilities and a large part of the current housing shortage. <![CDATA[<b>The concept of a scale in accounting measurement</b>]]> This study compares the practices of accounting measurement with the principles of the representational theory of measurement to determine whether the attributes of accounting phenomena are measured on well-founded scales. The results of this study indicate that the concept of the representational scale is misapplied in the accounting discipline. The principles of representation measurement are hinged on the precise specification of how a scale of measurement is formed. Consequently, the findings suggest that accounting is not a measurement discipline. <![CDATA[<b>Why do shareholders' require corporate environmental disclosure?</b>]]> We do a survey of individual shareholders' corporate environmental disclosure needs. We find that South African individual shareholders require companies to disclose the following specific environmental information: environmental risks and impacts, environmental policy, measurable environmental targets, performance against targets, environmental costs disclosed separately, and an independent environmental audit report. Respondents prefer this information in a separate section of the annual report and on company websites. Individual shareholders want such disclosure to be prescribed by law and/or stock exchange rules. The most popular reason why they want environmental information disclosed is to hold companies accountable for their environmental stewardship. A high percentage of individual shareholders also indicate that they want disclosure because they are concerned about climate change. These findings imply that legislators and standard setters may have to consider changing disclosure laws and standards. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring the management abilities of spaza shop owners in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality</b>]]> South African entrepreneurs have a poor skills record, which often leads to business failure. To effectively manage a spaza shop requires applying management functions and some management skills. The implementation of simple systems can assist spaza shop owners to manage their businesses more successfully and even grow. A quantitative study was done, by interviewing sixty spaza shop owners in the township. The empirical results identified the gaps in the management abilities of spaza shop owners in terms of the eight management functions and show that the purchasing, financial and information management function are the most neglected. Guidelines on how each of the functions could or should be applied are given. This research indicates that spaza shops can assist in economic growth and relieve unemployment in the country. <![CDATA[<b>Business development in emerging markets</b>: <b>the impact on spending behaviour of elderly caregivers of family members with HIV/AIDS in SA</b>]]> Business development in emerging markets, known as the 'base of the pyramid', is not without financial risk, and a key concern in South African communities are the costs associated with HIV/AIDS. Due to the enormous demand for healthcare, many governments have opted for home-based care systems. Caregivers are mainly older women and their financial survival is critically important. We found that as the patient's illness progressed: 1) the cultural norm ubuntu led the caregiver to increase spending on the patient and a decreased spending on themselves and 2) the social pressure of stigma led to a very dramatic drop in direct interpersonal assistance to the patient and an increase in spending on themselves. Their resulting coping strategies and implications for economic development are discussed. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of stressed economic conditions on operational risk loss distributions</b>]]> The depth and duration of the credit crisis has highlighted a number of problems in modern finance. Banks have been accused of excessive risk taking, rating agencies of severe conflicts of interest, central banks of neglecting the inflation of asset price bubbles and national supervisors of lax regulatory controls. Credit and market losses have been considerable. Operational losses have also surged as surviving corporates merge or acquire less fortunate ones without the requisite controls. Furthermore, as more jobs get made redundant it is believed that people are getting forced to play their hand to get involved in internal fraud as their sources of income have dried up drastically and stealing from the institution seems to be their last resort.. The main objective of this paper is to establish if there has been a change in the nature of operational risk with regards to the number of operational losses as well as their impact pre and during the crisis. The way in which operational losses have been affected will be presented and a comparison will be made between operational loss characteristics pre and during the crisis. Some of the main findings of this paper were that operational losses showed little change in frequency, but showed a significant increase in severity, meaning that their financial impact has been more severe during the crisis. Therefore it is quite safe to say that the financial crisis most definitely had an impact on operational risk as the impact of operational losses became much more severe.