The impact of HIV/AIDS on the South African labour market

Van der Walt, I. C. (2000-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: No disease in modern times has created as much fear and panic as HIV/AIDS - undoubtedly one of the most formidable public health problems facing South Africa today. Traditionally, HIV/AIDS has not been regarded as a workplace issue, except for "high-risk" professions such as surgeons, dentists and emergency medical technicians. The stark reality is that HIV/AIDS will have an impact on all sectors of society and all aspects of human activity throughout South Africa. Because of the nature of the spread of the disease, it hits predominantly sexually active people. These are the people that make up the workforce. It can therefore be expected that HIV/AIDS will impact directly on the patterns of employment in South Africa. Furthermore, the economic consequences of the epidemic will result in pressures on the South African economy, which again will influence employment. Apart from affecting the general population, HIV/AIDS will have a direct impact on businesses in various areas. HIV/AIDS will also have a significant impact at community level that will, in turn, impact on businesses. If business in South Africa is to survive, these impacts have to be managed so that productivity can be maintained and costs can be contained. The objective of this study is to explore the impact of HIV/AIDS on employment by examining the South African labour market. From the study, it is clear that South Africa is certain to experience severe consequences arising from the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Even without taking the immense impact of HIV/AIDS into account, there are various problems facing the' South African labour market. Specific problems discussed are unemployment, low productivity and a shortage of skills. These are not the only problems associated with the South African labour market, but the extent of these problems is further exacerbated by the impact of HIV/AIDS. All sectors of the society need to be mobilised into action. This action must encompass both prevention of the spread of the disease, as well as caring for the sick and dying.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geen ander siekte in die moderne tyd het al soveel vrees en paniek geskep as MIV/VIGS nie ongetwyfeld een van die mees formidabele gemeenskapsgesondheidsprobleme wat Suid-Afrika huidiglik in die gesig staar. Oorspronklik was MIV/VIGS slegs met die werksplek geassosieer in terme van "hoë-risiko" beroepe soos dokters, tandartse en nood mediese personeel. Die naakte waarheid is dat MIV/VIGS 'n impak sal hê op alle sektore en aspekte van die samelewing in Suid-Afrika. As gevolg van die aard van die verspreiding van die siekte, tref dit hoofsaaklik seksueel aktiewe persone. Hierdie persone is die lewensaar van die arbeidsmag. Dit kan dus verwag word dat MIV/VIGS 'n direkte impak op werkverskaffingspatrone in Suid-Afrika sal hê. Die ekonomiese gevolge van die epidemie sal verdere druk veroorsaak op die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie, wat op sy beurt werkverskaffing sal beïnvloed. Buiten die impak van MIV/VIGS op die algemene bevolking, sal die siekte ook in verskeie areas van die besigheidsektor 'n uitwerking hê. Verder sal MIV/VIGS 'n aansienlike impak op gemeenskapsvlak hê, wat op sy beurt weer 'n uitwerking sal hê op besighede. As besighede in Suid-Afrika wil oorleef, moet hierdie aanslae so bestuur word dat produktiwiteit gehandhaaf word en kostes onder beheer gehou word. Die oogmerk van hierdie studie is om die impak van MIV/VIGS op werkverskaffing te ondersoek deur na die Suid-Afrikaanse arbeidsmark te kyk. Van die studie is dit duidelik dat Suid-Afrika ernstige konsekwensies as gevolg van die MIV/VIGS epidemie kan verwag. Selfs sonder om die ontsaglike impak van MIV/VIGS in ag te neem, is daar verskeie probleme wat die Suid-Afrikaanse arbeidsmark in die gesig staar. Spesifieke probleme wat bespreek word is werkloosheid, lae produktiwiteit en 'n tekort aan gespesialiseerde vaardighede. Alhoewel hierdie nie die enigste probleme is wat met die Suid-Afrikaanse arbeidsmark geassosieer word nie, word die spesifieke probleme vererger deur die impak van MIV/VIGS. Wat vereis word is dat alle sektore van die samelewing moet oorgaan tot aksie. Hierdie aksie moet beide die voorkoming van die verspreiding van die siekte, sowel as die versorging van die siekes en sterwendes omvat.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51980
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