Human resources managers' perceptions of training incentives as a motivation for companies to relocate to export processing zones in South Africa

Mare, Pieter Daniel (2000-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The economic construct within South Africa has been in a state of flux during the last decade. The challenge of meeting the demands placed on this economy by the leading industrialised developed economies, whilst developing human capacity that would meet these demands, is of great importance. Developing human capacity through training is regarded as the key building block in this endeavour. Cost implications associated with training are considered a major stumbling block for many organisations where bottom line margins are under continuous threat. Traditionally, many institutions regarded training as an unnecessary evil and the tendency was to spend as little money as possible on this variable overhead. This short-sighted approach, operating within a political framework where the majority of the workers did not enjoy democratic institutions, compounded the training and skills dilemma facing South Africa. Since 1994 all South Africans have been afforded a new political dispensation. The newly elected government, in an attempt to redress past inadequacy, introduced various labour acts that would meet the development needs of that part of the population that was classified as previously disadvantaged. The Skills Development Act provides guidelines on training and development requirements within the various economic sectors, and is therefore of particular importance. This legislation, which implies that organisations spend a certain percentage of their payroll on training, places new financial demands and obligations on organisations, some of which cannot afford it. A positive alternative associated with training cost is the establishment of Export Processing Zones (EPZs). EPZs offer incentives to lure organisations into moving to a demarcated processing zone where relaxed labour practices are enjoyed, low taxes are paid and incentives for training their workforces are offered. In order to test the perception of employers regarding training incentives as a motivation to consider moving to EPZs, a questionnaire was sent to one hundred organisations. Quantitative and qualitative data was obtained by means of processing the responses to these questionnaires to establish the viability of and demand for the establishment of EPZs. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that the development of an EPZ should become a part of the strategic initiative of the South African Department of Trade and Industry whilst ensuring support from other key stakeholders such as the Department of Labour, workers' unions and industrialists.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die ekonomiese konstruk in Suid-Afrika was gedurende die afgelope dekade in 'n toestand van onsekerheid. Die uitdaging om aan die vereistes wat deur die toonaangewende ontwikkelde nywerheidsekonomieë afgedwing word te voldoen, terwyl die menslike kapasiteit terselfdertyd ontwikkel word om aan hierdie vereistes te voldoen, is uiters belangrik. Opleiding word beskou as 'n kern boublok in hierdie strewe om menslike kapasiteit te ontwikkel. Talle maatskappye beskou die koste implikasies wat met opleiding gepaard gaan as 'n reuse struikelblok. Baie instansies het opleiding in die verlede as 'n onnodige euwel beskou en daar was 'n neiging om so min as moontlik aan hierdie veranderlike oorhoofse koste te spandeer. Hierdie kortsigtige benadering het binne 'n politieke raamwerk fungeer waar die meerderheid werkers geen toegang tot demokratiese instellings gehad het nie. Dit het die opleidings- en vaardigheidsdilemma waarmee Suid-Afrika gekonfronteer word, vererger. Alle Suid-Afrikaners geniet egter sedert 1994 'n nuwe politieke bedeling. Ten einde te poog om vroeëre tekortkominge aan te spreek, het die nuut verkose regering verskeie arbeidswetgewings ingestel om aan die ontwikkelingsbehoeftes te voldoen van diegene wat geklassifiseer word as agtergeblewenes. Die Vaardigheidsontwikkelingswetgewing bied riglyne vir opleidings- en ontwikkelingsbehoeftes binne die verskeie ekonomiese sektore en is dus van besondere belang. Hierdie wetgewing bepaal dat 'n maatskappy 'n sekere persentasie van sy betaalrol moet spandeer aan opleiding. Dit plaas addisionele finansiële druk op maatskappye en sommige maatskappye kan dit net eenvoudig nie bekostig nie. Die daarstelling van 'n Uitvoer Verwerkingsone (UVS) is 'n positiewe alternatief wat met opleidingskoste geassosieer kan word. 'n UVS bied insentiewe aan maatskappye om hul te lok om na hierdie afgebakende gebied(e) te beweeg waar verslapte arbeidspraktyke geld, lae belastings betaal word en insentiewe aangebied word vir die opleiding van hul werkersmag. 'n Vraelys is aan een honderd maatskappye gestuur ten einde die persepsies van werkgewers ten opsigte van opleidingsintensiewe as motivering om na 'n UVS te beweeg te toets. Kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe data is bekom deur die verwerking van die antwoorde op die vraelys en daardeur die lewensvatbaarheid van en die behoefte aan die daarstelling van 'n UVS te bepaal. Gebaseer op die bevindinge van hierdie studie word daar aanbeveel dat die ontwikkeling van 'n UVS deel moet vorm van die strategiese inisiatief van die Suid-Afrikaanse Departement van Handel en Nywerheid terwyl die ondersteuning van ander sleutel belanghebbendes soos die Departement van Arbeid, werkersunies en nyweraars verseker word.

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