Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences ]]> vol. 24 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Voluntary social performance disclosure and firm profitability of South African listed firms: Examining the complementary role of board independence and managerial ownership</b>]]> BACKGROUND: There is growing literature promoting corporate governance mechanisms as important elements that could mitigate the inconclusive findings within the corporate social performance and firm profitability research. A key theoretical assumption within the extant literature that provides support for this proposition is that corporate social performance and firm profitability are organisational outcomes in the presence of good corporate governance. AIM: Firstly, the aim is to re-investigate voluntary social performance disclosure (SPD) and long-term profitability association from the perspective of international standards, using the Global Reporting Initiative G3.1 guidelines. Secondly, to examine the joint moderating effect of board independence and managerial ownership (MO) on the voluntary SPD and profitability nexus. SETTING: The South Africa institutional setting, where recent corporate governance regimes require firms to voluntarily make corporate governance related disclosures on both shareholder-and stakeholder-related information is used as the study context METHOD: Utilising manually extracted data of listed firms, over the period 2010 to 2015, the generalised least square regression and seemingly unrelated regression (with a 1-year lag as the main independent variable) are used to examine the stated hypotheses RESULTS: We found a positive association between voluntary SPD and long-term profitability. We also found that the presence of non-executive directors positively moderates the association between voluntary SPD and long-term profitability. Thirdly, the proportion of MO significantly positively moderates the association between voluntary SPD and long-term profitability. Lastly, the complementary role of the presence of non-executive directors and the proportion of MO significantly positively moderates the association between voluntary SPD and long-term profitability. CONCLUSION: This study finds support for scholarly theoretical arguments that organisational outcomes are largely possible in the presence of good corporate governance, which has a long-term implication for firms' shareholder wealth maximisation. This study contributes to the ongoing research examining the notion of substitutive versus complementary effects of governance mechanisms, and a growing research literature on corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure from the perspective of international standardisation. This study therefore makes far-reaching contributions to the corporate governance and social responsibility literature in an African context. <![CDATA[<b>Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment and corporate financial health</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Legislation was implemented in South Africa in 2003 and revised in 2013 to promote Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE). AIM: To investigate the relationship between B-BBEE compliance and a range of financial health measures among publicly listed companies. SETTING: Altogether 379 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange over the period 2004-2015. METHODS: Data on the sampled companies' B-BBEE scores (in total and per element) were sourced from Empowerdex, whereas financial data were downloaded from Bloomberg. Panel regressions were computed to investigate hypothesised relationships RESULTS: A significant increasing trend was noted in B-BBEE compliance over the research period. No significant relationships were found between the total B-BBEE score, individual B-BBEE elements and any of the considered accounting-based measures (annual percentage change in turnover, return on sales, return on assets and return on equity). A significant negative relationship was observed between the market-based price/earnings ratio and total B-BBEE score, while a significant positive relationship was noted with the cost of equity. The latter seems to indicate a negative perception among shareholders towards B-BBEE. CONCLUSION: Although B-BBEE legislation has been partially successful, more can be done to achieve its goal of empowering black employees and small business owners. Management teams should be more diverse and greater emphasis should be placed on socio-economic development and skills development. Companies should caution against overemphasising the importance of black ownership, as shareholders seem to view this B-BBEE element in a somewhat negative light. <![CDATA[<b>Reflecting on the changing landscape of shareholder activism in South Africa</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Investors around the globe are increasingly focusing on investing in a responsible manner by accounting for environmental, social and corporate governance aspects alongside financial performance. Shareholder activism is a prevalent responsible investment strategy that is gradually gaining traction among South African investors. AIM: The primary objective was to gauge the views of selected local institutional investors on the nature of shareholder activism endeavours in South Africa. The secondary objective was to offer suggestions on the way forward for shareholder activism considering rapid technological development and the COVID-19 pandemic. SETTING: South Africa offers a well-developed framework for responsible investors. Given their substantial shareholding, institutional investors in particular have considerable power to influence the practices and policies of investee companies. METHOD: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 representatives of local institutional investor organisations. Thematic analysis was conducted to analyse the primary data. RESULTS: Interviewees mostly engaged in private with investee companies on corporate governance issues. They explained that more information is required to meaningfully engage on social and environmental considerations. Participants indicated that they consider and employ public activism mechanisms if private engagements are deemed unsuccessful. CONCLUSION: Technology will play an increasingly important role to enhance shareholder activism in future, but also offers various challenges. Although social media might be a valuable avenue to disclose information, it should be cautiously managed. Selective engagement details could be published on institutional investors' and companies' websites to enhance transparency regarding the nature and outcomes of engagements. Virtual and hybrid annual general meetings are likely to enable more shareholders to become active owners in future. <![CDATA[<b>Assessing the effectiveness of an occupational health and safety system in a selected automotive assembly organisation in South Africa</b>]]> BACKGROUND: It has been established that high levels of safety performance are achieved by strong and positive safety climates. Good safety, health and environmental practices reduce the cost of overall healthcare delivery while increasing general productivity. These sentiments underpin the concept of an occupational health and safety (OHS) system. AIM: This study assesses the effectiveness of an OHS in a selected automotive assembly organisation in South Africa. SETTINGS: The automotive organisation that participated in the study has adopted an OHS system. Prior to its implementation, the company experienced an increase in the rate of occupational diseases and injuries. METHODS: The study objectives were achieved by examining Health and Safety (H) related experiences in the company. The collection of data was carried out in two phases, namely the collection of pre-OHS and post-OHS results from company records for H compliance, occupational diseases, as well as workplace injury rates. The pre-OHS results were quarterly data reflecting the company's H performance over the 3-year period prior to the implementation of the OHS system. This company operates in the eThekwini District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. RESULTS: The OHS system has no influence on occupational diseases, or on the workplace injury frequency rates. However, H compliance plays a role in the maintenance of the OHS system. CONCLUSION: In order to maximise performance, a comprehensive OHS policy must be developed that aligns management commitment to the OHS system. Thus, the study uncovered the strengths and weaknesses of OHS in this automotive assembly organisation in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>The performance measurement conundrum: Construct validity of the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire in South Africa</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Performance remains high on the agenda of both researchers and practitioners, and rigorous measurement is central to evidence-based investigations. Several instruments have been developed to measure performance, of which one - the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ) - seems to be a scientifically rigorous instrument. Despite the growth in IWPQ validation studies, little is known about its psychometric properties in South Africa. AIM: The current study seeks to address the construct validity of the IWPQ. The objective was to evaluate the construct (i.e. convergent, discriminant and nomological) validity of the instrument. SETTING: Information technology professionals were targeted in the current study, and the final sample consisted of 296 employees. METHOD: Latent variable modelling was performed, using both independent cluster and exploratory structural equation model frameworks, with the mean- and variance-adjusted weighted least squares estimator. The analysis was complemented with the heterotrait-monotrait method. RESULTS: The results supported the construct validity of the instrument. Specifically, individual work performance was found to be a three-dimensional construct with acceptable convergent and discriminant validity. Job resources were also related to the three performance dimensions. CONCLUSION: The factor structure of the IWPQ mirrors the factor structure found in the literature. Researchers and practitioners can use this instrument in South Africa to identify determinants and consequence of individual work performance, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of performance improvement interventions. <![CDATA[<b>Tourism destination competitiveness: A view from suppliers operating in a country with political challenges</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Tourism in Zimbabwe has been affected by politics for more than two decades following the contested land-reform programme that was done in the year 2000. Therefore, understanding the destination competitiveness of Zimbabwean tourism is crucial for optimising tourist arrivals in the country as this industry is still contributing to the economy amid the political challenges. AIM: Given the importance of destination competitiveness, in the era of rising global competition, this study examined the factors that make Zimbabwe a competitive tourist destination, regardless of its political challenges. SETTING: The study used data collected from hospitality and tourism managers for establishments in Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe, the Eastern Highlands and Harare. These are considered the major tourist destinations in Zimbabwe. METHODS: Data were collected using a quantitative design from 301 tourism and hospitality managers. RESULTS: The suppliers rated natural attractiveness, cultural attractiveness and human resources as critical dimensions contributing to the competitiveness of Zimbabwe. Significant to this study was the finding that perceptions differ depending on the type of establishment CONCLUSION: As competition between destinations in Africa is growing, understanding the dimensions influencing destination competitiveness is invaluable, because it enables destination managers to focus on unique critical dimensions to sustain a competitive advantage. <![CDATA[<b>Finance-growth nexus in sub-Saharan Africa</b>]]> BACKGROUND: There is now significant empirical literature suggesting that finance is good for growth only up to a threshold level of financial development, becoming harmful after that level, in developed and developing countries. AIM: This study extends this literature that investigates non-linearities on the finance-growth link, by testing the inverted U-shape hypothesis in sub-Saharan African countries, which are among the least developed ones. SETTING: 36 countries from sub-Saharan Africa over the period 1980-2015. METHOD: Estimation of quadratic dynamic panel data models by system-generalised method of moments. RESULTS: Empirical results show that there is a hump-shaped relationship between financial development and economic growth in sub-Saharan African countries. CONCLUSION: Results suggest that the hypothesis of 'too much finance harms economic growth' also holds for low-income and less developed countries, but for much lower threshold levels of financial development than those of more developed and higher-income countries. As for policy implications, measures to strengthen finance quality and other growth-enhancing strategies need to be undertaken, rather than increasing finance size. <![CDATA[<b>Supply chain management antecedents of performance in small to medium scale enterprises</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The failure rate of most small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa remains very high, with up to 70% of such businesses closing down within the first 5 years of operations. High business operating costs incurred by SMEs are often cited as one of the major causes of these failures. It may be argued that to reduce these costs, and hence improve the success rates of SME ventures, supply chain management (SCM) strategies should be adopted and implemented. AIM: This article provides an analysis of the connection between SCM strategies, supply chain agility and supply chain performance among SMEs in South Africa. SETTING: A total of 407 owners, managers and professional employees of SMEs operating in Gauteng were recruited purposively to participate in the study. METHOD: To test the proposed relationships, the collected data were analysed using exploratory factor analysis, Pearson correlations and regression analysis. RESULT: The results of the study disclosed that all four SCM strategies (supplier collaboration, total quality management, technology adoption, supply chain integration) correlated with and predicted supply chain agility. Technology adoption (β = 0.54) emerged as the strongest predictor of supply chain agility. In turn, supply chain agility correlated with and predicted supply chain performance. CONCLUSION: The article concludes by recommending specific interventions that may be employed by SMEs to ensure that the adoption of SCM strategies yields positive outcomes. <![CDATA[<b>Spousal effects on wages, labour supply and household production in Ghana</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The relationship between spousal wages and hours of work, including the phenomenon of a spousal premium or penalty, is well documented in the literature. However, there is limited information on the situation in developing countries where labour market rigidities and cultural norms are factors in the division of labour between husbands and wives. AIM: This article addresses the research gap by analysing spousal wages among couples and the cross-wage effect of spousal time allocation. SETTING: Households in Ghana, where sociocultural norms largely influence the role of men and women constituted the context of the study. METHODS: The instrumental variable Tobit estimation regression was used to analyse pooled data from three Ghana Living Standard Surveys. RESULTS: The results reveal elements of a working spousal wage premium (due to positive selection rather than specialisation) for both men and women regardless of their ethnic affiliations. The analysis of the effect of wage on spousal hours of work also suggested complementarity in employment and household labour decisions between couples. CONCLUSION: Men's and women's participation in household production significantly improves each other's labour market participation and labour supply. These results corroborate the evidence of a wage premium in the literature. We recommend that government should promote equitable wage rates in the labour market and prioritise policies such as paternal leave which could encourage men to participate in household production and indirectly promote women's labour force participation. <![CDATA[<b>Not all experts are equal in the eyes of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board: On the application of ISA510 and ISA620 by South African registered auditors</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The article focuses on inconsistencies in audit approaches when auditors place reliance on the work performed by others. It examines differences in the approach followed by auditors when relying on the work of a predecessor versus the work of an auditor's expert. SETTING: The study contributes to the limited body of auditing research focusing on the technical application of International Auditing Standards and the functioning of actual audit practice in a South African context. It outlines how auditors apply their professional judgement when using technical auditing standards when comparing the work of a similarly trained expert in the field of accounting and auditing (per ISA510) versus the work of an expert in a field other than accounting and auditing (per ISA620). AIM: The purpose of this article is to examine and identify inconsistencies in the interpretation and application of ISA510 and ISA620 by a purposefully selected number of registered auditors in South Africa. It considers how inconsistencies in the approach followed when an auditor places reliance on the work of another auditor or an auditor's expert points to underlying efforts to seek legitimacy and manage legal liability. METHOD: Detailed interviews are used to explore auditors' experiences and challenges with the application of these two ISAs. RESULTS: Audit quality is not necessarily a function of compliance with professional standards. While ISA510 and ISA620 deal with a situation where an auditor places reliance on the work of a third party, they are interpreted and applied very differently. CONCLUSION: The application of ISA510 is part of a rules-based approach to auditing aimed at reducing an auditor's legal liability rather than enhancing audit quality. The same logic applies to ISA620 except that auditors perceive that their risk exposure is lower because the standard is limited to a single transaction or balance rather than to the entire audit engagement. The application of ISA620 is also useful for convincing internal reviewers, external regulators or audit committees that sufficient appropriate evidence for a complex line item has been obtained. The need to ensure a more robust process for testing complex balances and transactions is not, however, the primary consideration. Regulators and standard setters should not assume that compliance with auditing standards results in better quality audits. At the operational level, the need to manage legal liability and to signal the credibility of test procedures may be more relevant for the execution of audits than ensuring that audit opinions are supported by sufficient appropriate audit evidence. As only two standards, applied in a single jurisdiction, are used to illustrate this point, additional research will be required to determine the extent of inconsistency in the application of auditing standards and how this can result in lower levels of audit quality. <![CDATA[<b>Human capital and economic growth in South Africa: A cross-municipality panel data analysis</b>]]> BACKGROUND: In the literature, human capital has been identified as a key economic variable that is needed to promote growth; hence this study explores the components of human capital, that is, different skill levels in order to capture the real effect of the employed labour on economic output across the municipalities of South Africa. AIM: This study investigates the effect of human capital of employed labour on economic output and growth in South Africa. SETTING: The study focuses on the balanced panel of 269 South African municipalities for the period 1993 to 2016. METHODS: The study utilises panel causality test and the generalised method of moments estimation techniques. RESULTS: A panel causality test confirms bidirectional causality between human capital and total output, as well as between total employment and total output. The resultant aggregate findings suggest that human capital has a positive and a significant impact both on total output and economic growth. The disaggregated proxy of human capital shows that higher levels of skilled employment is associated with higher total output and economic growth. CONCLUSION: The findings of the effect of skilled employment on economic growth are in line with theoretical literature and therefore the study concludes that human capital in the form of skilled labour has a positive effect on both economic output and growth in South Africa. This informs policy to prioritise the upskilling of the labour force in order to contribute positively towards value-generating economic activities in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>The influence of agri-entrepreneurship courses studied on youth farm entrepreneurial intention: Evidence from Folk Development Colleges in Tanzania</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Youth engagement in agriculture in developing countries is of paramount importance since much of their livelihoods depend on this sector. AIM: This article therefore aims at assessing the influence of studying agri-entrepreneurship courses on youth farm entrepreneurial intention. SETTING: Three of the 55 Folk Development Colleges (FDCs) in Tanzania. METHODS: A cross-sectional design was employed and 300 respondents were randomly selected from three FDCs offering agricultural programmes. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed by using descriptive and inferential statistics in which frequencies, percentages, mean, standard deviation and Somers's D Model were employed. RESULTS: The results show that there is a significant relationship between agri-entrepreneurship knowledge and skills acquired and youth entrepreneurial intentions towards farming. CONCLUSION: The FDCs' agri-entrepreneurial training provides knowledge and skills which influence youth farm entrepreneurial intention. However, the strength of this influence ranges from weak to moderate depending on various factors. Regular reviews of curricula to enhance the beliefs that develop a view of farm entrepreneurship as a paying business is recommended. The analysis and implication of this finding has been further explained. <![CDATA[<b>Valuation practices under business rescue circumstances in South Africa</b>]]> BACKGROUND: A business rescue plan should indicate the benefits of adopting a business rescue plan as opposed to the benefits of immediate liquidation. Performing a valuation is thus a vital aspect of the business rescue process as the estimated values determine the amount to be divided between creditors and, if possible, shareholders. Conventional valuation methods have the underlying assumption that the business is a going concern (based on liquidy and solvency tests). However, a company in business rescue is not necessarily a going concern, nor in liquidation, leaving the company in a grey area in terms of valuation. AIM: This research explored how the business rescue value of a financially distressed company is determined. SETTING: The setting for this study was South Africa. METHOD: Thematic analysis of qualitative data collected through 11 semi-structured interviews with senior business rescue practitioners (BRPs). RESULTS: When the intention is to return the company to solvency, the BRPs prepared a short-term, undiscounted cash flow budget to determine the business rescue value, but without including a terminal value in the projected cash flows. In contrast, when the intention is to obtain a better return compared to immediate liquidation, BRPs follow an asset approach to determine the business rescue value. The results also showed that the business, digital and relational acumen of the BRP is a major influencer in the business rescue value CONCLUSION: The financial elements identified and substantiated in this study may serve as best practice guidance in the business rescue industry and lead to an expansion of the existing valuation theory. <![CDATA[<b>South African universities in a time of increasing disruption</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have disrupted the higher education environment in unprecedented ways, AIM: This article identifies the impact of increasing disruption driven by the 4IR and COVID-19 on the content and curriculum design of degree programmes in economic and management sciences offered by South African universities, SETTING: Six South African and five top-tier US and UK universities. METHODS: The study used a non-positivist qualitative research design and specifically the case-study approach. A document analysis of the information in university yearbooks and prospectuses was conducted, using a purposive sampling design RESULTS: An online presence will become more important due to increased disruption, and will not only ensure an additional revenue stream, but also promote continuity in operations and mitigate threats from competitors. COVID-19 has accelerated the extent of this disruption and expedited the migration to online teaching and learning platforms. CONCLUSION: Since science, technology, engineering and mathematics are integral to the majority of 4IR-related modules, South African universities must not shy away from degree programmes that ignore inter- and multi-disciplinary curriculum designs. Coupled with the challenges facing the majority of South African students to access electronic devices, data and the internet, COVID-19 has thrust this challenge to the forefront in the South African higher education landscape. By comparing the developments in South African universities with those in trendsetting, top-tier, global universities, management can assess the extent to which they are internationally competitive and adapting to the demands of the 4IR. <![CDATA[<b>Happiness lost: Was the decision to implement lockdown the correct one?</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Amid the rapid global spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many governments enforced country-wide lockdowns, likely with severe well-being consequences. The actions by governments triggered a debate on whether the costs of a lockdown, economically and in well-being, surpass the benefits perceived from a lower infection rate. AIM: To use the Gross National Happiness index (GNH), derived from Big Data, to investigate the determinants of happiness before and during the first few months of a lockdown in a country as an extreme case, South Africa (a country with low levels of well-being and stringent lockdown regulations). Next, to estimate (1) the probability of being happy during a pandemic year, before and after the implemented lockdown, relative to the mean happiness levels of the previous year, and (2) to utilise simulations to estimate the probability of being happy if there were no lockdown. SETTING: This study considers the effect of government-mandated lockdown on happiness in South Africa. METHODS: We use Big Data in the forms of Twitter and Google Trends to derive variables and ordinary least squares and ordered probit estimation methods. RESULTS: What contributes to happiness under lockdown, except for COVID-19 cases, are the factors linked to the implemented regulations themselves. If we compare scenarios pre- and post-lockdown, we report a happiness cost of 9%. The simulations indicate that assuming there were no lockdown in 2020, the relative well-being gain is 3%. CONCLUSION: If policymakers want to increase happiness levels and the probability of achieving the same happiness levels as in 2019, they should consider factors related to the regulations that can increase happiness levels. <![CDATA[<b>Black economic empowerment policy and the transfer of equity and mine assets to Black people in the South Africa's mining industry</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) and the Mining Charter, which both came into force in 2004, required white-owned and foreign-owned companies operating in the country to transfer 26% of the value of equity ownership and ensure that historically disadvantaged persons (HDSAs) attain 40% control of mine assets. The regulations are part of the broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) policy that seeks to transform the whole economy and enable black people to participate fully in all sectors of the economy after years of exclusion under apartheid laws. The inclusion of black people in the industry started with conglomerates unbundling mining houses in the early 1990s. Elsewhere such programmes succeed through selective government intervention. The South African government instead is pursuing a hands-off approach leaving HDSAs to survive under market mechanisms, which limits HDSAs' chances of exploitation of opportunities. AIM: To explain challenges of attaining and sustaining equity target levels and highlight the extent to which black people own equity and mine assets, explore strategies used and reveal other realities in the implementation of the policy. These aims are met by exploring the ownership structures of white-owned, foreign-owned and black-owned companies and BEE deals concluded by them between the 1990s and 2015. It was also important to learn from the experiences of countries that pursued similar policies as a means of providing knowledge and information to policymakers and the general public. SETTING: The study used a sample of 72 mining companies in South Africa operating in various mineral categories. METHODOLOGY: This article used a qualitative approach involving both secondary and primary data. Purposeful selective sampling was used to draw from all listed mining companies with a cut-off of July 2011. The market capitalisation of these were used to estimate equity targets owned by black people. Another 16 mining companies not listed were used to explore the strategies, challenges and other realities. This required exploring changes in shareholding structures and BEE deals concluded. Face-to-face structured interviews were conducted with a total of 35 executives, top management or their representatives from 27 companies, a few members of academia and government officials between 2012 and 2014. RESULTS: Targets set by the MPRDA and the Mining Charter have not been met. Thus, little equity ownership has been transferred to black people. A broad category of black people have, however, benefited from BEE deals. These include individual companies, consortiums, communities and employee ownership schemes. To avoid risks, the sellers of mine assets host black people in separate companies, special purpose vehicles and holding companies. In general, lack of capital, dilution of black shareholding, indebtedness and limited expertise to run extractive ventures successfully challenge the survival of black-owned companies. Despite these problems, a few such companies are worth billions of rand. CONCLUSION: The success of empowerment policies that seek to offer selective preferences to enterprises elsewhere has depended on the government's concerted efforts. These include establishing institutions to oversee policy execution and having financial and other supports. Challenges that black-owned mining companies face indicate a call for help. Unless the government intervenes and supports them there is a danger that white-owned and foreign-owned companies will completely buy back the assets once sold to black people resulting in a failure of the empowerment policy. <![CDATA[<b>A new affordable housing development and the adjacent housing-market response</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Cities continue to grapple with a rising demand for housing, which affects affordability and the well-being of its citizens. This growth continues to put pressure on the delivery of adequate, affordable housing in well-located areas while the availability of infrastructure and proximity to economic nodes remains a challenge. This has led to increasing infill development of medium-density to high-density affordable housing in greenfield areas located adjacent to higher-income neighbourhoodsAIM: This study investigates how a new affordable housing development influences the locational and structural values of the adjacent, existing housing marketSETTING: Transactional data of residential sales for two areas in South Africa are used to measure the value change. Both areas are located within an urban setting next to an open, greenfield area that was redeveloped for affordable housingMETHODS: Two case studies are used and analysed with hedonic pricing modelling to identify and measure the value change for the locational and structural characteristics before and after the development of affordable housingRESULTS: The results reveal a changing housing market as the locational and structural characteristics change in value, further highlighting the importance of careful planning that preserves the existing market and also supplies affordable housingCONCLUSION: The value of several structural characteristics of properties will change, revealing just how consumer preference responds when affordable housing is introduced in an existing housing market. Distance to an affordable housing project continues to influence the house market value and careful consideration should be made when planning to integrate an affordable housing development in an existing neighbourhood <![CDATA[<b>Determining the potential of informal savings groups as a model for formal commitment saving devices</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Saving behaviour has attracted research attention over the past 20 years. Typically, individual and household saving rates among low-income groups are inadequate. Research suggests that informal savings groups are effective vehicles for encouraging saving among low-income individuals. Yet little is known about the drivers of positive saving behaviour among informal savings groups, which makes it difficult for formal providers to design interventions that promote higher levels of savingAIM: This study aimed to explore both the rational and non-rational drivers of saving behaviour among low-income members of informal savings groups, the attributes of informal savings groups that positively influence their collective saving behaviour, and to identify the valued features of savings groups that encourage the adoption of informal commitment saving devices (CSDsMETHODS: The study was informed by a literature review followed by field research in which semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 savings groups and 10 individual members of savings groups. The participants' perspectives were analysed and compared within the context of behavioural economic theoryRESULTS: The study revealed seven characteristics of informal savings groups that potentially serve as interventions to explain non-rational saving behaviour. It also identified seven features valued by users of informal CSDs (including flexibility, restricted access to savings and no transaction fees) which could be salient to providers of formal CSDsCONCLUSION: On the basis of the findings, a behavioural design framework was proposed to inform the design features of formal CSDs that may ensure customer retention and improved saving outcomes <![CDATA[<b>The role of personal relationships in supply chain risk information sharing: Perspectives from buyers and suppliers of logistics services</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The frequent occurrence of supply chain disruptions highlights the importance of sharing supply chain risk information (SCRI) among buyers and suppliers in third-party logistics (3PL) services. Business relationships and long-term collaboration among supply chain partners (SCP), such as 3PLs and their clients, lead to the sharing of SCRI. Risk information sharing (RIS) cannot be effectively carried out unless these relationships are based on more than just transactional information sharing. Therefore, a better understanding is needed of how personal relationships influence RIS among these partnersAIM: The purpose of this study was to explore the role of personal relationships in supply chain RIS from the perspective of buyers and suppliers in 3PL services in South AfricaSETTING: The study was conducted among buyers and suppliers in 3PL services in South AfricaMETHOD: A generic qualitative research approach was followed to conduct 18 semi-structured interviews with senior managers, employed by buyers and suppliers of 3PL servicesFINDINGS: A personal relationship among buyers and suppliers of logistics services is the cornerstone to ensure that risk information is shared effectively. Accountability, reliability, and approachability are the main behavioural attributes required to ensure RIS among SCPs. Supply chain partners struggle to determine where the boundaries of a personal relationship lie, especially when risk information is shared. The most common mitigation strategies, when dealing with RIS, are the use of a code of conduct, a code of ethics and a standard non-disclosure agreement (NDACONCLUSION: The study provides insight into the role of personal relationships in supply chain RIS, the behavioural attributes required for RIS, and the challenges associated with RIS when a personal relationship is present. The study is, arguably, among the first empirical studies in the South African logistics services context to investigate the role of personal relationships in supply chain RIS <![CDATA[<b>Estimation of the potential economic welfare to be gained by the South African Customs Union from trade facilitation</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Trade facilitation is important for the South African Customs Union (SACU) countries because the expansion of international trade is a priority to enhance their economic growth. Unfortunately, the high trade compliance costs facing importers and exporters operating in SACU are in conflict with this objective. AIM: This article aims to quantify the annual economic welfare gains that the member countries of SACU could realise from reforms that would reduce the documentary and border compliance time and costs. METHODS: We use a partial equilibrium welfare economics framework of up-to-date sets of general equilibrium estimates of the import demand and the export supply elasticity in a country. The impact on the volume of trade flow and economic welfare is quantified to reduce documentary and border compliance time and trade compliance costs. RESULTS: The economic welfare changes from reducing the documentary and border compliance time and costs for imports and exports would be between US$2.2 billion and US$3.7 billion (2018 prices), or between 0.54% and 0.90% of GDP of the SACU countries. The economic welfare gains from reducing the excess administrative costs in imports and exports of SACU members would be between US$2.2 billion and US$3.7 billion (2018 prices), or between 0.54% and 0.90% of the GDP of the SACU. CONCLUSION: The most important reforms needed to realise these cost savings include a single window administrative structure. In this case, both customs, health, welfare, and controls, as well as the payment of all duties, taxes, and licenses are handled by a single administrative office. Failure to move fast regarding such changes would have a negative impact on the well-being of SACU members. <![CDATA[<b>Balancing quantitative and qualitative value-creation reporting</b>]]> METHOD: The demand for a balanced disclosure of quantitative and qualitative value creation in an organisation and for its stakeholders has increased in recent years. AIM: Therefore, this study focused on the disclosure of 97 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange over a period of five years (2015-2019). METHOD: A three-phased content anlaysis was followed. RESULTS: The researchers found that value-creation disclosures are mostly concerned with quantitative value creation, and that they focus on value concepts, such as returns to investors, cash flow, increase in employee numbers, and benefits to employees. Some companies have progressed in their integrated reporting practices and now include a reference to value creation by balancing the different forms of capital. However, their reports still do not include concrete statements or definitions about what value creation is considered to be; neither do they disclose qualitative value-creation concepts. CONCLUSION: The authors thus conclude that imbalanced reporting skewed towards quantitative value concepts persists. <![CDATA[<b>Household saving and wealth in South Africa</b>]]> BACKGROUND: A detailed picture of the saving behaviour of South African households would enable researchers to determine whether households are proactively attempting to safeguard themselves financially. AIM: Of this article is to analyse household saving(s), using both an income-statement (saving) and a balance-sheet (savings or wealth) approach, while investigating the link between the two as well. SETTING: The perception that households are 'dis-savers' without really delving into the details, definitions, or reasons why this may or may not be the case. This notion is proven superficial as it ignores various interacting definitional and measurement issues METHODS: A descriptive analytical methodology is applied to household saving (flow) and savings (stock or wealth) in the period 1995 to 2018, with the focus on macro-economics, while data are sourced from the South African System of National Accounts (SNA). RESULTS: Findings include a long-term decline in net household saving to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which turned negative in 2006, so that dissaving occurred. In contrast, household wealth recorded an average nominal increase of 10.3% in the period 1995 to 2018. Focusing on the link between the two concepts, it is confirmed that net revaluation of assets plays a prominent role to support the rise in wealth, while the role of saving diminishes over time. Therefore, the need for additional methodological updates is highlighted. More research is required on the various possible factors driving household income and expenditure trends, and their sustainability. The contribution of household saving to total saving should be evaluated in detail. <![CDATA[<b>Work engagement and perceived customer value, the mediating role of meaningfulness through work</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Work engagement is considered an important contributor towards the success of any organisation, while finding meaning in work has been proven to enhance productivity and, ultimately, assists in improving the bottom line of an organisation AIM: The aim of the study is to examine work engagement and meaningfulness through work and at the workplace, and how these factors impact on perceived customer value. More specifically, the researchers were interested in whether meaningfulness could mediate the relationship between work engagement and perceived customer value. SETTING: Data were collected from employees at a large South African manufacturing organisation. METHODS: Respondents from a manufacturing organisation in South Africa participated in the quantitative cross-sectional study (N = 152). They completed previously validated questionnaires to assess work engagement, meaningfulness through work and perceived customer value from an employee perspective. (Males = 52.21%; Working less than five years in the industry = 54.61%; Non-management = 50%. RESULTS: Correlation results indicate that features of engagement, meaningfulness through work and perceived customer value were positively associated. A simple mediation model indicates that meaning could be considered a mediator in the relationship between work engagement and perceived customer value. CONCLUSION: Study results indicate that work engagement was not sufficient to improve perceived customer value and that finding meaning in and through work was also required. <![CDATA[<b>Has mobile phone technology aided the growth of agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa?</b>]]> BACKGROUND: A recent increase in the adoption of mobile phone technology generated a great deal of interest and optimism regarding its effect on economic development in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), particularly on the enhancement of agricultural development. AIM: In this study the impact of mobile phone technology on agricultural productivity in SSA is examined. SETTING: The empirical assessment uses a panel data set covering 41 countries over a period of 25 years. METHODS: We employed an econometric approach and panel data covering 41 countries and a 25 year-period (1990-2014) to investigate the effect of the adoption of mobile phone technology and other socio-economic variables on agricultural total factor productivity (TFP). The use of regression analyses allowed us to estimate and measure the contribution of certain variables to agricultural TFP growth in SSA. RESULTS: The results show that the uptake of mobile phone technology had a positive effect on agricultural TFP growth in SSA. CONCLUSION: Mobile phone technology has been established to be one of the drivers of agricultural productivity in SSA. IMPLICATION: The implications of this study are that governments, NGOs, and businesses working on improving agricultural productivity and food security in SSA need to continue endorsing mobile technology as a means to improve agricultural productivity. <![CDATA[<b>Development and preliminary validation of the work-unit performance questionnaire</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Serious shortcomings are identified in the Performance Index (PI), developed by Spangenberg and Theron (2004). Attempts are made to correct these shortcomings AIM: The primary objective of this research study was to develop and preliminary validate a generic Work-Unit Performance Questionnaire, based on the Performance Index of Spangenberg and Theron (2004), correcting shortcomings identified in that particular PI SETTING: The study used convenience sampling that consisted of 202 respondents from a variety of South African industries. The article draws on findings in the thesis of Seland (2019) METHODS: The development and preliminary validation of the Work-Unit Performance Questionnaire (WUPQ) was required. The WUPQ consists of dual subscales, the Work-Unit Competency Questionnaire (WUCQ), which consists of seven latent behavioural competency variables, and the Work-Unit Outcome Questionnaire (WUOQ), which consists of six latent outcome variables RESULTS: Both measurement models (WUCP & WUOQ) showed close fit; however, two factor loadings in the WUCQ measurement model had to be constrained. Reasonable structural model fit was found in the sample. Support was found for 11 of the original 21 path-specific substantive hypotheses and for an additional hypothesis. CONCLUSION: The proposed model can be used by managers, with caution due to the intentional exclusion of competency potential and situational variables, to diagnose poor work-unit performance. Furthermore, it is encouraged that this research be the starting point for further analyses of work-unit performance and advance validation of the instrument. <![CDATA[<b>Regulating South Africa's retirement funds: The case for clearer objectives</b>]]> The rationale for the regulation of participants in financial markets, like retirement funds, is sound. It would be strengthened, however, by a clear statement of the objectives of such regulation. In this article the position is taken that the objectives underpinning the regulation of South African privately-managed retirement funds should be enhanced. It presents this argument with reference to international principles concerning systems of old-age provision, and to the examples of regulations in other jurisdictions. It recommends a set of practical regulatory objectives in the pursuit of efficiency, sustainability, coverage, adequacy and security of provision for old age. <![CDATA[<b>Youth's participation in agriculture: A fallacy or achievable possibility? Evidence from rural South Africa</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The realisation of more youth involvement in the agricultural sector has proved to be elusive, so the question of the possibility of a youth-led agriculture needs further investigation AIM: The aim of the study was to assess whether there is potential for the rural youth to participate in agriculture by employing the typology formulation approach SETTING: The study is premised on recent calls for strategies to reduce youth unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa by involving and enhancing the agricultural sector METHOD: A survey in questionnaire form was conducted with 224 youths from two districts in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The Principal Components Analysis and K-Means Clustering were performed to determine the youth typologies and assess their potential RESULTS: Five typologies were identified. Most youths (59.3%) were found in Typology 1 (those that see no benefits in farming) and in Typology 2 (older, experienced and with access to land). Typology 5 (male youths in agricultural cooperatives) had the lowest proportion of youths (5.7%). Participants in typologies 2, 3 and 5 were deemed to have high to moderate potential for successful engagement in farming. The highest potential was found in the typology with the least percentage of youths CONCLUSIONS: The typologies showed that youths have varying perceptions and aspirations regarding agriculture. While some show an interest and have the potential to participate in farming, others do not. Therefore, the blanket notion of the youth's lack of interest in agriculture should be qualified as it does not always hold. The heterogeneity in characteristics among the youths in these typologies, including their potential to participate in agriculture, expresses the differences in the kinds of support needed to increase their participation <![CDATA[<b>International patent applications and innovation in South Africa</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Experts recommend support to patents for stimulating innovation. Also, the South African government supports patents, in particular, international patents. In this paper it is examined how this strategy can be designed to successfully trigger economic progress AIM: The present South African activities in patents are investigated in this paper and areas identified where an intensification of patenting looks promising for economic progress SETTING: The patent activities since 1985 are analysed and compared to the annual export-import balance from 2009 to 2018, in order to identify starting points for improving economic structures. The data are linked to current suggestions to the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) for future technologies METHODS: The analysis of patents is performed, using the international patent database PATSTAT, as well as the analysis of the export-import balance at the WITS database of the World Bank RESULTS: The patent analysis reveals a low level of South African domestic patents, with a focus on less complex goods and a stagnation period of 35 years. The data on the export - import balance show negative figures for consumer goods and even more so for capital goods CONCLUSION: Economic progress can be accelerated by stimulating patent and economic activities to produce more complex consumer and capital goods. However, it may be necessary to focus on certain areas at the beginning in order to achieve a sufficient critical mass of competence and international competitiveness. In any case, the support of patents is only successful when it is closely linked to a strategy regarding technology